Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Whole New World

I have followed, studied and presented on what the true meaning of December 21, 2012 is all about: Transformation. But in late November, I did not realize how extraordinary my own future post 2012 would be from before. An Old Age has indeed died, or is dying, and is being replaced with a new one.
In my case, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare case of cancer, angio sarcoma, which affects less than 200 people in the US. Each case is almost by default unique (unless if it features an evolution of previous breast cancer), and so I found that the man who normally studies anomalies, has become a medical enigma a well. How I precisely got this, remains and may forever remain unknown.
It does not matter. I was – am – faced with the fact that for me, this diagnosis, signaled a tremendous wake-up call. For one, that no-one truly takes each day as precious as one should. But also that I realized that somehow, what I am learning at this very moment in time – including the bridge between the mental and medical levels of therapies – are offering me insights- very deep and powerful insights.
Specifically, how our ancestors, specifically the Ancient Egyptian Wisdom and techniques – knew how to heal the body. It is funny that I am learning this lesson in a hospital bed in Los Angeles, whereas I was supposed to be present in Egypt, visiting all of these sites. But first, it seems, maybe true understand and wisdom needs to be acquired before I need to revisit these sites. The insights I have gained in recent weeks definitely far outweigh anything Egypt on the ground could have given me.
Interestingly, the exploration of this field of healing I had actually begun for my next major publication in the Fall of 2013, on pyramids and the reason – rather than the when and how – they were built. The book was going to be about pyramid technology – why they were built – and over the last few weeks, so many pieces of this puzzle have fallen into place, that I truly believe that I had to come to the situation I am in right now, in order to understand and apply to myself. Physician heal thyself - and author, only write after truly having experienced it yourself!
My beloved Kathleen, an incredible and magical pillar of support throughout all of this, underlined that my motto is that Ancient Knowledge Will Give Us a Future. Over the last few weeks, I have come to realize you have to be very specific about picking such mottos, for in my case, I remain convinced that this knowledge will indeed give me MY future. And insights into life, its value and especially its magical qualities, in the hope that with only a few days before December 21, people, through choice, will embrace a positive change in their life and travel onwards to the next level of their mission, which is the only reason why we have chosen to incarnate here on this lovely, blue water planet.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

From Lie to Accepted Truth to Conspiracy Theory

The Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy, is responsible for one of the most grotesque examples of how something that should never even have been believed, became accepted history, and those who doubted it, have been labeled “conspiracy theorists”. It is a prime example of how academics and historians choose the easiest way out, rather than dig and proclaim the truth.
The Commission had taken it for granted that the murder weapon was a Mannlicher-Carcano; this weapon took a minimum of 2.3 seconds in between shots fired. If the Zapruder film – named after the man who filmed the assassination in Dealy Plaza – showed Connally was hit within 2.3 seconds, say 1.9 seconds, after Kennedy was first shot, it meant that someone other than the presumed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had fired one of those shots. And the Zapruder film showed just that: Connally was shot before 2.3 seconds had been timed after Kennedy was shot, at frame 210. Connally was shot around frame 232-8, but the Commission moved it up to frame 225 or 226, extending Kennedy’s ‘hit-zone’ between frame 210 and frame 225, when he re-emerges in view of Zapruder’s film. Kennedy was shot around frame 190, which meant there was at least 2.3 seconds between the shots, but the Commission could not use frame 190 because it was impossible that Oswald fired a shot then, obstructed as his view was by a Texas Oak.
If the Commission wanted to show Oswald was the lone gunman, it had to show Kennedy’s initial wound and Connally’s back wound were caused by one single bullet. The Dallas doctors’ testimony, testifying the throat wound was an entrance-wound, made this impossible, however. Hurries’ altered autopsy report, however, did allow for such a scenario – the report being altered to allow specifically for this scenario to occur. Diagramming the path of this bullet, it had to change course in midair, but that was the least of the Commission’s worries: there was the pristine condition of the bullet, CE399. Originally described as having fallen off Kennedy’s stretcher, even though it was not found on Kennedy’s stretcher, this bullet had already been forced, by Humes’ alterations to the autopsy report, to go through Kennedy’s body, exiting through Kennedy’s throat. The Commission now forced that bullet to pass through Connally’s back, chest, wrist and thigh as well ... ending up on Connally’s stretcher, in pristine condition.
Evidence can withstand some alteration, but CE399, though pristine, was unable to withstand so much alteration, first at the hands of Humes, now by the Commission’s hand, especially assistant counsel Arlen Specter and member Gerald Ford.
CE399’s original weight was believed to be 168 grams. When ‘found’, it weighted 158 grains, a loss of .75 to 1.5 percent. According to the FBI, the bullet weighed 160-1 grains, dropping to 158.6 grains. And here is where the Single Bullet Theory, as Specter’s possible solution to the dilemma came to be known, ended its relationship with reality, though it didn’t stop the Commission in its ‘findings’, i.e. inventions. Dr. Charles Gregory stated that X-rays from Connally’s wrist before and even after the operation showed more fragments than that are missing grains from CE399. Plus, there is also a large bullet fragment in Connally’s chest, which was not taken out during that operation: Connally’s body contains more grains of CE399 than there are grains missing from CE399, which forces anyone who doesn’t want to contradict reality that CE399 is NOT the bullet that caused Connally’s injuries; it also causes serious doubt about the rest of the Single Bullet Theory, should it not have lost all credibility when confronted with this evidence.
It was Specter who had to create the theory, very much against his own will, and he commented on ‘his’ theory: “I don’t think the people are going to believe this – this year, next year or a hundred years from now. This thing will be challenged today, tomorrow and forever.” The maker understood his creation was ridiculous. Because it was.
Alas, in the aftermath of the Warren Commission, History and those who shape it accepted blindly the conclusions of the Warren Commission and history books have since quite straightforwardly labeled Oswald the lone assassin of President Kennedy, a theory which relies heavily on the Single Bullet Theory. Those who doubt this theory are labeled “conspiracy theorists”, but it is clear that its inventor, Specter, never meant his theory to be believed.
Sadly, there was no true analysis of his or the Commission’s findings by the rows of academic historians, who blindly accepted it. It was left to maverick researchers and journalists to point out the obvious problems. They are the ones whom the halls of academia consider to be the weird ones, even going as far as commissioning documents that “try to explain” why people desire to see a conspiracy where academics “know” there isn’t one. The answers they get are so warped, for the obvious answer is simply that there is a conspiracy. Full stop. But that is not something they want to see. But what weird universe the halls of academia are, when truth is ridiculed, and total lies accepted as historical fact!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The New Inquisition

The first chapter of “The Lost Civilization Enigma” is called “The New Inquisition”. It shows ample evidence of how elements of “Academic Science” have become the new inquisition: everyone who offers a diverging opinion about a subject and strays from “the accepted norm” is labeled a heretic and hunted down, by a small group of inquisitors, modernly labeled skeptics.
This topic was already in evidence in “The Ancient Alien Question”, especially how Science treats the work of astrobiologists that argue that life did not originate on this planet, but elsewhere in the universe. No matter how much evidence these scientists gather, their colleagues will make sure that the notion of earth-centered life remains the reigning paradigm by carefully using “peer review” to condemn and isolate the heretics.
Of course, material that paints a different picture of history and the mind are the most important topics to be attacked by the inquisition. Recently, the show Ancient Aliens was “countered” by a 190 minute YouTube documentary called “Ancient Aliens Debunked”. I wrote a rebuttal, known as “Debunking Ancient Aliens Debunked” to highlight some of the tactics and errors in this documentary. The producer of the documentary, Chris White, replied to this, by adding another Debunked to the headline of his piece. In usual skeptoid fashion, such replies are made within 24 hours and are more intent to continue a tit-for-tat debate than a well-balanced dialogue.
The focus of my rebuttal was on the Mitchell-Hedges skull, which according to most skeptics is of recent manufacture. In my rebuttal, I told White that the Mitchell-Hedges Skull had been investigated by Hewlett-Packard and the British Museum. He said that he knew about the latter, and had even included it in his documentary. He, however, referred to a report of 1936, but was clearly unaware of the expertise I was referring to, done in 1980, even though the sources he worked with, mentioned the 1980 expertise.
It is a typical skeptical attitude, to pretend to know, yet fail to realize you don’t know as much, for in truth, skeptics dip in and out of topics which they have done some basic Google searches on, unlike others, who spent years researching the material. White’s unfamiliarity with the material was also on display when he appeared on William Henry’s Revelations Stargate Radio, on October 24, 2012. White stated he never visited the sites like Puma Pumku and many others (but, of course, he did read about them! Wow!), and made repeated references to “someone” – as he had forgotten the name of the individuals involved. We all forget people’s names on occasion, but White forgot all of them – because he is so unfamiliar with them and their work.
White and other skeptics, like Jason Colavito, the latter who seems to be vying for the crown of James Randi, are great masters at searching sources briefly and feel that any material they find is perfect to “expose” the alternative hypothesis as faulty. That is of course not true. It merely reveals their lack of maturity in holding a debate and pretty much their ignorance of the subject matter. But specifically, what typifies them is a certain type of crusading zeal – which is why the best comparison to draw is with the inquisition. They go after those that stray from the path and are labeled heretics. In their eyes, I am indeed a heretic. We are ignorant, and out to deceive. Indeed, they truly believe, like the inquisitors of medieval times, that we are out to ensnare poor souls for evil purposes. The fact that I have long hair and am left-handed might actually – in their eyes – be the conclusive evidence I am in league with the devil.
In truth, the skeptics are modern zealots. This was so visible with Randi that it was apparent to everyone that Randi lacked all self-recognition – in fact, his brain should be given over to science so it can study it to find out what part of the brain is responsible for self-recognition, for it was clearly missing from Randi’s!
At this moment in time, these skeptics – and the best case example is Doug Weller – dominate such forums as Wikipedia. The modern inquisition is in power. Read the talk page of any Wikipedia entry he occupies, and you will see his religious zeal. In the case of the Bosnian Pyramid, there was a scientific conference in 2008, in which 30 of the leading Egyptologists, including the current Minister of Antiquities, were present. Weller labels this a conference on par with creationist conferences and feels the conclusions of this conference should not be put on the main Wikipedia page. Somehow, he actually manages in keeping it off there, and has done so for several years – just like for centuries, the inquisitors were able to suppress information from the likes of Galileo. Their tactics really belong in the halls of the Inquisition; it has nothing to do with a scientific debate, which should be about openness. Yet, Weller, Colavito and others believe they are the ones protecting science from evil intrusions and feel they are the proper scientists and defenders of science. They are, alas, the new inquisition.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

History Will Give Us a Future

My personal motto is that Ancient Knowledge Will Give Us a Future. What stands between those two concepts, is often history – not the events themselves, but the way the story of history has been carefully molded and transformed into something it never was, but which somehow we are led to believe. Some of this is because of our natural appetite to believe we are superior to our ancestors and everyone else, but whereas this is the framework, the individual actions of rewriting history happen largely because there are forces that want us to think and especially behave in a certain way and the easiest method to get away with this – I mean: accomplish this – is by editing history.
In preparation for “The Atlas of Ancient Enigmas”, I was reading about the Chinese First Emperor and his adviser Li Si, in which the latter advised the Emperor about five vermin. Three of these were largely unimportant to me: speech-makers who propound false schemes and borrow influence from abroad; swordsmen who gather bands of followers; and draft-dodgers who bribe their way out of military service. One is of great interest for our reigning financial crisis: merchants and artisans who make articles of no practical use, accrue wealth and exploit farmers. It is the final vermin that is of greatest concern to my motto: scholars who praise the ways of former kings and speak in elegant phrases.
You might think this is not a problem of our times, and that science – represented by historians and archaeologists – fortunately is protecting us from this. But that is definitely not the case. Indeed, look at the recent saga of the Coptic papyrus that demonstrates Jesus was indeed married, the James Ossuary, the manner in which Tudor historians treat Anne Boleyn and thousands of other examples and the sad fact of the matter is that historians proclaim loud and wide that our history is indeed full of unworthy things, which they continue to serve us on platters that are meant to demonstrate there is nothing in our history that is worthy of our considerations, or can help us through our present times. Today, those fighting for a true understanding of events are shot down – Michael Moore specifically comes to mind – while the likes of Jon Stewart get away with it by playing the role of court jester, but as a result are not taken as seriously as they should.
Li Si proposed that the Emperor should give an order to burn all books, because there were those who disparaged the ruler by making claims on antiquity. They were only able to do this because they had access to the opinions of others and were even proud of it. Literature was therefore banned. The books were destroyed for the purpose of making the people ignorant, so that no one should use the past to discredit the present.
There is actually no evidence that the Emperor ever burnt books. In fact, after the rule of this Emperor, a more ingenious plan was devised by an unknown evil genius – a methodology that continues to be practiced to this very day. It is far more effective to introduce lies into the historical records – lies which will forever be quoted as proof, for they are, after all, part of the historical records, not? And it seems the First Emperor himself fell foul of this plan, as he was labeled an evil ruler who wiped out the past – even though it is now clear that he did not.
Editing can be the greatest of evils. Rather than ban books, create books that are filled with lies and have a media that will chew information for you and present it in delicious bites that are simply too good to be put aside. The best example of this is how our present generation has fallen victim to Wikipedia, which is ruled by a group of largely unknown – almost anonymous – editors, some of which are plainly ignorant of the facts they are deemed to govern, while others have major axes to grind with a topic, while in some cases, as has been revealed, the medium is blatantly abused by government agencies, political and religious parties and other interested parties who want the world to have a certain perspective on certain issues, countries and people. Philip Roth recently published an open letter to Wikipedia, in which he explained how Wikipedia refused to consider his input into how he had created a certain character. Wikipedia refused as he was not a credible source, begging the question who is a credible source when it comes to someone’s internal dialogue? Does Philip Roth need to hear voices in his head, who then speak to Wikipedia editors, before the information is deemed sufficient to Wikipedia? Roth is caught between being declared insane, or have incorrect information presented in Wikipedia.
We currently live in a time where we think that our present challenges and circumstances are unique – only because we are led to believe that there was no time in history where the same challenges presented themselves to our ancestors. “Back then, it was all different,” wasn’t it?
If we do not learn from the past, we will not have a future. And what we need to learn from the past, is far more than purely the historical truths that can help us shape our future. The manner in which history is taught, is a series of events, dates, without any true concept or detail as to why these events matter. If our children are not taught why aspects of history are truly important, I do not blame them for considering history to be unimportant.
Alas, these treasures of knowledge are currently in the hands of a group of people who care absolutely not at all about the truth, but about far more basic principles. The circus that has evolved after the revelation of the small papyrus that showed Jesus was married, is typical of the reigning paradigm of historians. As soon as a historical revelation is made, money and ego-hungry scientists who were left out of the initial scuffle make sure that they can raise bog-standard skeptical claims that they know will make for headline grabbing statements in the media that will make them part of the circus. And they pretend this is all in the interest of good scientific debate. Lone cries of reason, by the likes of James Tabor, are largely falling by the wayside and are of no interest in a media that thrives on controversy, rather than truth seeking. The circus must go on...
Tabor reminded his audience that in 2002, the so-called James Ossuary created major controversy. Most people who are aware of this topic will believe that this was proven to be a fake. Think again: there is no evidence to suggest the James Ossuary is a fake; it is more than likely absolutely true. Yet the opening sentence on Wikipedia continues to proclaim “if genuine”, before setting out evidence that is largely derisory of the subject matter – a typical Wikipedia procedure in dealing with material.
Our ancestors were not idiots. Where we come from is vitally important to define who we are. And for Mankind to create its future.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No More Us vs. Them

Today, September 11, is another horrific reminder of division and the horror that ensues when somehow division is created. Today, I visited Srebrenica, which on July 11, 1995, saw the start of a genocide that would kill ca. 8500 people, mostly men and children. Srebrenica happened because some people felt that “them” – Bosnian Muslims – were somehow inferior and should be eradicated if at all possible. Alas, that same attitude was also apparent on the walls of the Dutch UN peace troops on the outskirts of the town, where graffiti reveals how the soldiers looked upon the people they were to protect – but failed. The end result was the worst genocide since the Second World War – and the perpetrators of the genocide are currently on trial in – ironically – The Hague.
Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladić took Srebrenica on July 10, proclaiming a perceived wrong – which happened seven centuries before – had been righted. He saw the Bosnian Muslims as something that had to be eradicated, as they were less than human. In the following days, he created something which the tribunal that indicted him for war crimes described as “truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human history." Mladic is but one of numerous examples in which Mankind has created a duality of us v. them, which we have seen in the horrors of the Second World War, the many religious wars fought and being fought across the world, the Conquest of the New World and so many other scenes of Mankind’s Past.
We do “Us Vs. Them” all the time. We even find delight in it, especially during the recent Olympic Games, which has become transferred into a battlefield of nations winning medals, rather than individual athlete’s victories. Every politician running for office highlights how different he or she is versus the other person running. We are all individuals and should cherish our own uniqueness – but in a positive manner. No-one or no group or nation should define their identity by being anti-whatever or underlining what sets them apart from others. Us vs. Them is the true cause of hatred and horror that stops Mankind or humanity from living up to its name.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Waving Apollo's Flags

On August 25, Neil Armstrong died. Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon, on July 21, 1969, making that incredible statement about a small step for man, but a giant leap for Mankind. He is thus the prime of twelve people who have walked off-Earth.
Or did he? For several years, there is a strong contingent of Moon Skeptics, who argue that we did not go to the moon. Some years ago, the Australian magazine New Dawn even asked me to write an article on the subject, to map the debate. The conclusion of that article – which can be read here – was that some aspects of the space exploration were nebulous, some of them hoaxed, some likely fake. But that there was also a body of evidence that we went.
Specifically, the hoaxing came in the form of photographs. When one realizes the cumbersomeness of the cameras that were being used and the type of gloves the astronauts were wearing, it is indeed no surprise to see that few would have been able to make good photographs. But the world wanted images – it speaks a thousand words – and so it seems that NASA resorted to image manipulation – which many decades later was exposed as such.
There are other instances of how images were hoaxed, for example how Apollo 11 astronauts were shown playing with a screen in the window, to make it appear that they were further from the earth than they truly were. Whenever someone posts this clip on YouTube, it soon gets deleted, with a message from YouTube that it has been removed “as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.” Oh irony! The footage is absolutely genuine and to find that Apollo 11 astronauts were engaged in such deception does indeed cast doubt on the veracity of their endeavors. What they were caught doing, was pretending they were deeper in space, taking video of a distant earth, whereas in reality they were in a near-earth orbit. The question asked by skeptics is: did they ever leave it? They don’t believe so.
But images can work both ways. A few weeks before Armstrong’s death, NASA reported that the shadows that were cast on the lunar surface by the US flags were still visible. Five of the six flags were still standing; ironically, the first flag, that of the Apollo 11 mission, was knocked over as the craft ascended from the lunar surface, which therefore means that there is evidence that we went to the moon, but that there appears to be no evidence yet that Apollo 11 went to the moon! The five flags were captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC). Mark Robinson, an investigator connected with the program, added: "Personally I was a bit surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did."
The skeptics, of course, are debating the veracity of this claim, arguing that you cannot see the flags themselves, but merely the shadows. But the truth of the matter is that the shadows are in the locations where the flags were, suggesting they are the shadows of the flags. The body of evidence suggests we went to the moon… the question which might need to be posed, is… but did Apollo 11? Though the evidence suggests they did, it is far from definitive.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Future of Rosslyn Chapel

Before “The Da Vinci Code” was written, I had written a book, largely a guidebook, to Rosslyn Chapel: The Stone Puzzle of Rosslyn Chapel. It means that I have seen this chapel through some of its latest transformations, from a relatively well-known attraction to a site that welcomes hundreds of visitors each day, as it featured in the movie as the place where the body of Mary Magdalene was allegedly hidden. Coping with a few hundred visitors each day wouldn’t be such a problem were it not for the fact that Rosslyn is a very small building. It means that the church is now almost always overcrowded.
Since 1997, two new visitor centers have been built, while the chapel also went through extensive restoration works, the last phase of which is still ongoing. For most of the last few years, the visitors were actually largely welcomed to a building site, various parts of the chapel off-limits or out of view for the visitor – something tourists were not always advised of.
Last weekend, I returned to Rosslyn Chapel after more than a year of absence. The new visitor center welcomed me; inside the chapel, were more than a hundred people, with an official guide trying to invite the tourists to listen to his uninspiring and error-ridden explanation of the chapel. It looked amateurish, because it was. Most of all, I felt sad that this chapel should be basking in this glory, but instead, the people running it, seem unable to cope, or don’t care.
Over the last few years, attempts have been made to upgrade the visitor experience, including the call for a new audio guide, which didn’t materialize. The new visitor center is supposed to be better than the old, but the cafe area remains cramped, the selection of books was less than before and was it truly better and bigger than the previous visitor center? Its internal layout is weird and almost designed by someone who didn’t visit similar attractions to get a flavor of what works and what doesn’t.
Small tourist sites have found it necessary to reduce visitor numbers to provide tourists with a good experience. Rosslyn Chapel doesn’t seem to consider or ponder this notion, or may not even see a need for it, but the need is there and certain decisions may have to be made. Right now, I am sad to say, the magic of Rosslyn Chapel is hard to feel and that isn’t the building’s site, nor even a side effect of the restoration work. Some weeks ago, a waiter told us that the best chef could make the best steak ever, but if the waiter’s attitude to putting that dish on your table came short, it would never taste like the best steak ever. And that is the same problem Rosslyn Chapel is facing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The 2012 Mid-Year Review

Three years ago, I created the “2012: Mayan Prophecy and the Shift of Ages” DVD with Geoff Stray. With six months to go before that fateful date, where are we?
In 2009, the 2012 phenomenon was different – in fact, the world was different. At the time, we underlined that 2012 was not about apocalyptic end times, but instead about social change, specifically a change that had begun in 1993: the creation of the global village and which was slowly maturing – or so it seemed.
In June 2012, the world is a global village, but is also suffering the effects – it is, it seems, acting like the proverbial teenager. The first “village experiment” that began in 2001, the Eurozone, is now fighting for its future. The international banking community has pushed the world from a path of expansion to one of austerity. Rich bankers got us into this mess, but it are ordinary people that are as always paying the price. Life in Greece is a true tragedy, most of which is not reported by the foreign media.
The Eurozone stroke has made it clear that we are at a crossroads. Trying to maintain the old system is simply impossible. Greece might be expelled, or leave, but the larger question is whether the rest of the zone is equally cancerous.
Interestingly, while all of this was happening, one of the larger culprits in the banking crisis, the Royal Bank of Scotland, provided over the summer solstice a scenario in which millions of people in Britain had no access to their money. Whether it was the software glitch they blamed or a sociological test, a money-less society became a reality for a week across the United Kingdom for millions. And despite hardship, everyone survived, there were no revolts, and the government did not even have to intervene!
It is a signal that it can be different. At some point, the world – reality – became dominated by a virtual structure – money – which rose as the mechanism through which we were handling social exchanges. Then it became the mechanism for all exchanges. In recent decades, however, some have accumulated money without any true social exchange or added-value and this has led both to the troubles the world is facing, as well as, let us not forget, the millions of people dying because some continents have no money whatsoever and apparently humanity cannot rise above the virtual money game to truly help them.
We are slaves of this virtual reality, which we take for real. But this reality is collapsing all around us. And its engineers – the banks and politicians – have lost control of the monster. They try to bandaid a dead corpse and this will only last a short while longer before this approach will become unsustainable.
What we need is a plan for the future. What no-one can offer is a plan for the future, because everyone thinks from within the confines of the money paradigm, and especially the stalemate in which the money game has cornered itself. Meanwhile, politicians are all about defending and stressing the importance of borders, for it are those virtual lines on maps and landscapes that keep them in their jobs.
Those of us with jobs, are largely dissatisfied and largely told they should be happy they have a job, even though that job is unchanging and unlikely to exchange in the years to come. There are millions of unhappy people with no idea where the next step will go or come from and spend eight hours daily in this soul-destroying monotony. But they are unable to leave the game, because this money game has made sure they can’t: loans, mortgages, paying for children’s education and like are but one of several binders that keep people financial prisoners. Prosperity as a slogan now rings hollow and democracy the way it is experienced is quickly following in its track.
There is a void in people’s life and in 2012, we feel it. And it is far larger than the economy. There is a spiritual void. A void that was created by a nihilistic science that refused to explore the larger questions of life for the past several decades.
We need to go back to basics and create a world in which we invite changes to make a better world. We should be thinking about redefining a new world, based on the birth of the global village, but we are wrapped up in fear as we are told that these austerity measures are required for our own survival in this global village. Not true. In fact, they are what is killing us. They are limiting our chances of survival, or at least, halting us in our tracks, indefinitely, until the spell of the “money charm” is broken and we see reality the way it is. And realize we need to define a new reality. And that is the true message of 2012 and it is happening in 2012, right now. The question is whether we are making this a passive game or become active players.

Friday, April 20, 2012

5000 year old animal mounds in Peru

In September 2011, the British journal “Antiquity” reported that Google Earth had revealed gigantic 5000-year-old mounds in Peru that were shaped like animals, but it took several more months, until late March 2012, before the mainstream media reported on these discoveries.
Google Earth is becoming more and more a favorite tool for archaeological discoveries and has resulted in uncovering lost cities in the Amazon, while it continues to be a favorite tool to identify enigmatic structures in the Gobi Desert since they were announced in November 2011.
Massive geoglyphs in the shape of animals is nothing new to Peru: dozens of them are depicted on the enigmatic Nazca lines, made famous by Erich von Däniken when he argued that these geoglyphs should be seen from the skies. At the time, hardly any research had been done in these strange geoglyphs, but since, archaeologists have identified they form part of a larger complex, which even includes pyramids.
But Google Earth enabled the discovery of even larger depictions, mounds in the shapes of birds like the duck and the giant condor, a puma and even sea animals like an orca. As with the Nazca lines, these objects are best to be seen for the sky, in evidence that they were only discovered through Google Earth.
The duck mound was created by adding a head to a natural formation, while a nearby circular mound is thought to represent an egg. Most remarkable is that some of the mounds have been dated to be as old as 5000 years old – 3000 BC, making them on par with the pyramids of Caral in Northern Peru, dated to ca. 3200 BC. Whereas until recently, archaeologists were reluctant to date anything in the country BC, all of a sudden 3000 years are added to Peruvian history.
The man responsible for discovering and dating the mounds is University of Missouri anthropology professor emeritus Robert Benfer. “I had always noted that a very large structure just north of Lima resembled a bird. But since there were supposedly no giant animal effigy mounds in South America, I thought it couldn’t be one,” Dr. Benfer said. Or how suppositions were once again proven to be wrong!
The mounds range from 15 feet to 1300 feet long, spread out over six valleys in coastal Peru, in fact, less than two miles from the sea. The puma mound was found in El Paraiso, in the Chilca Valley. ‘The finding of animal effigy mounds where there were none before changes our conception of early Peruvian prehistory,’ Benfer said. ‘That they probably represent the Andean zodiac is also a new find. A controversial interpretation of some Nazca figures as representations of the zodiac is supported by these mounds.’ Benfer argues that a mound in the shape of a condor is aligned to the Milky Way when viewed from a nearby temple, while the puma mound aligned with the June solstice when viewed from the same temple. He notes that structures not only represented the stars, but were also aligned with them. The discovery therefore highlights once again that our ancestors were not only aware of astronomy, but used it in bringing down the skies down to earth, reminiscent of that hermetic saying “As Above, So Below”.
Unfortunately, Benfer immediately follows these important observations by going for the all too common explanations so cherished by archaeologists, claiming these designs would help the ancient Peruvians with farming and fishing! “For example, knowing that December 21 had passed was very important. If there was no sign of an El Niño by then, fishers would know they would have another good year, and farmers would face neither drought nor floods,” Benfer said. It is clear that a farmer did not need such a complex system to know the solstices and like. Far simpler designs could be created for that. And the true reason as to why these structures were built therefore will remain once again to be discovered.
Benfers’ work will not come as a surprise to Fernando and Edgar Elorrieta Salazar. In 2003, these brothers identified various animal forms in the hills and designs in and around Machu Picchu. They discovered that the design of the capital Cuczo was equally ingeniously created to form the image of a puma, the “royal animal”. Many of these constructions were achieved by using a mixture of natural shapes, which were then augmented – “stressed” – by human intervention, often by creating fields in very specific shapes. Creating fields is easier than building huge mounds, but Machu Picchu and Cuzco are located at high altitude, whereas the mounds are located near the coast.
Most important, however, is the realization that Peru’s history continues to become more complex and older with almost every new discovery made.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Angelic Jackson

Some weeks ago, I had the privilege to see the Cirque du Soleil’s Immortal in the Staples’ Center in Los Angeles. The venue has attained iconic status for Michael Jackson himself; it is where he was practicing for his new world tour and the site of his funeral service. A few weeks afterwards, we all learned about the death of Whitney Houston, in her hotel room in the Beverley Hills Hilton, the result of years of substance abuse.
My wife, Kathleen McGowan, in her third novel, The Poet Prince, tackles the subject of “angelics”: people who were born with highly gifted powers, especially in the arts, like the Renaissance genius Filippo Lippi. But Lippi was so out of control his master famously had to lock him up, so that he would actually focus on his god-given talent: the arts. Kathleen highlighted that many of these angelics have tremendous difficulty functioning in this world, and quite often have great issues with sexual identity and happiness in general. Part of their mind is never truly here. Their talent is otherworldly and hard to adapt to this world.
In the case of Michael Jackson, one could definitely see him as an angelic: a phenomenal talent in music, both writing and performing, identified as special from the moment he was born, resulting in a man whom the world never allowed to be fully functional or normal, resulting in his early death, as even sleeping become something he could not do without help. In the case of Whitney Houston, it was an angelic voice, almost unlike anyone else, who equally could not find happiness in this earthly realm.
Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston are but two of many people that fall in this category. Many of them quite often feature on the covers of tabloids, when they fall off the path that they are expected to walk, though some are better at hiding it than others.
The role of the angelic artist is to transport his audience to another realm. At one point, the mere presence of Michael Jackson was able to bring about hysteria in people. But watching the performance of Immortal bore witness to the fact that this man, in death, was able to inspire and transform the audience, sending a powerful message and insights in his vision in a manner that had actually become impossible during his lifetime, as everyone’s attention was always preoccupied with the publicity treadmill he was at the very center of and which neither he nor anyone else could walk away from. But in death, all of this was transformed and the messages that Michael Jackson wanted to send in the world, could finally be set loose.
The messages of Michael Jackson, but in his lyrics and interviews, were often powerful. What to make of statements that “my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance”? These are clearly the words of a man who understood his mission, his talents, and his total allegiance to it – to the very moment of his death, as can be seen in “This Is It”.
Some of his statements can seem simplistic at times, but reread them and an extraordinary level of understanding rises to the forefront: “Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.”
Michael Jackson was named after the Prince of Angels, and he was considered to be the King of Pop. The Guinness Book of Records identifies him as the most successful entertainer of all time. He described himself as the source through which the special power flowed, but that the true creation came from the heavens. And hence, Jackson identified himself as a true angelic, who are always seen as enablers of the divine. They are neither of this world, nor of the other world, but sitting restless in between both. In ancient civilizations, it were the angelics that were trained as they were closest to God and the gods and would be able to create divine art the best and easiest. The difference in treatment these angelics received in ancient times and today is probably an apt visualization of the manner in which Mankind treats the divine today.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Atheist Religion

In recent weeks, the likes of Ricky Gervais and Bill Maher have been vociferous in proclaiming their atheist point of view. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with those – like Maher – who proclaim that atheism is not a religion. It is.
I am the child of an atheist father and a Catholic mother. I believe there is a God, that Jesus was a great man but that he would laugh if we told him that he died to end original sin. And in recent years, I have become known as “an ancient alien theorist”, which in the eyes of many means that I believe that our ancestors mistook extra-terrestrial beings (though I prefer to label them non-human intelligences) as God or gods.
My dad believes that when he dies, there will be general nothingness. He was also convinced – until we discussed this point – that as a result, when he dies, there will be general nothingness, whereas when other people die, they will have to see whether or not they encounter God. It doesn’t work that way. What happens at death and what you believe happens at death is irrelevant. And it is one of my biggest beefs with the world of science that they do not study the near death experience, whether or not there is a soul, etc., using the excuse that this is not a topic for science, but one for religion. It is only sitting within the bailiwick of religion – belief – because science refuses to investigate it.
But not believing in god is a belief. Atheism is a belief there is no God. Maher and several other atheists state that they would gladly accept there is a God, if Jesus were somehow to come along for a Second Coming and thus show evidence of his existence. But it doesn’t work like that. The question of God really has nothing to do with whether or not Jesus comes back.
So why is atheism a religion? It is, if only because they believe there is no evidence for God. But what is evidence? Are we seriously considering that “proof of God” equals “Jesus’ Second Coming”? That is simplistic. In essence, the belief in God is that there is a higher force that has created and may guide life – and as a result human beings – on this planet, if not throughout the universe.
It is my belief that in the past, we were contacted by a number of non-human intelligences, like Viracocha, Quetzalcoatl and Oannes. These beings, our ancestors told us, taught us art but also morals. It is because of the latter that they were classified as gods. And in the Hermetic tradition, the wisdom tradition of the ancient Egyptians, we are told that the gods taught us about God. So if God was indeed an invention, it was an invention of the gods, and not so much our ancestors.
Some will jump on this to argue that God was therefore a suppression mechanism to keep our ancestors under control, but studying the Hermetica makes it clear that this is not at all the case. God was seen as a creating and guiding force, and at no point are there references to obedience or punishments. Instead, what we have are statements that we are closest to God when we create, innovate and think along those lines, rather than fall in repetition, fear and destruction. In fact, the ancient Egyptians did not have a word for religion; for them, the divine was not about belief, but about experiencing the world by creating, for God was a creator deity and best understood by the act of creation – one of the reasons why the arts were deemed to be so important.
Sadly, what atheists like Gervais and Maher share is a need to proclaim the dogma of atheism vociferously, on par with many of the fundamentalist right. In the case of Maher, he even sinks as low as putting on a magician’s hat and literal “mumbo jumbo” in efforts to substantiate his claims. It is belittling, rather than what he would see as “making a point”. There is a difference between being non-religious and an atheist. The main difference, in fact, seems to be that the atheist is on a crusade. In medieval times, the crusaders thought they were fighting evil; the atheists believe they are fighting religion. But in both cases, they are two shades of the same color.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

V For Occupy

When Alan Moore was asked about the movie rendition of his graphic novel that was “V For Vendetta”, he said the American producers had played it too safe. The movie was made during the Bush Era, in the aftermath of 9/11, when even US hard-lined critics of the American regime and especially the Republican Administration that was in power seemed to fall in line with the official line, at least for a number of years, until it became clear that the War On Terror was another mirage which they had fallen for.
Moore disliked that the movie was set in England, whereas he felt that the woo of the world was truly in the United States. Fast-forward to the early fall of 2011, however, when it became clear that the movie was able to inspire millions as the masks that V wore during the movie became the face of the Occupy Movement which started in Wall Street. Indeed, TIME Magazine decided to name the Person of the Year 2011 “the protester”. The Year of Protest began on January 25, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt, blossoming into the Arab Spring and growing into a Western World Fall – though by the time winter came, certain key observations could be made.
For one, Moore had adopted the movement that had adopted his mask and the message that had been sent into the world via the movie. Secondly, the Occupy Movement had taken root in numerous countries – more than 2000 cities, it is claimed – and in most countries, the authorities did not know how to handle it. In London, it caused tremendous conflict within the hallowed walls of St Paul’s Cathedral, leading to two prominent religious leaders of that community stepping down over the manner in which the reaction to the protest movement had been handled.
In late 2011, especially the US Government came down on the protesters, most visibly in California and New York. It soon emerged that rather than a local idea, this was a co-ordinated effort, apparently instigated by none other than the White House. A White House which in the past years has received widespread condemnation as they feel that few if any of the promises Obama put forward during his presidential campaign in 2008 have come true.
But what emerged in late 2011 was, specifically, that the 99 percent identified with V and were apparently ready for a vendetta against the 1 percent. Indeed, when one was confronted with the harsh reality that the richest 400 Americans – indeed: 400 – have the same amount of money as the poorest 150 million citizens, there has to be something seriously wrong. In short, that are 150 million Americans with no hope for a better future, except if the balance of power becomes radically different and there are few means through which this can be done. Amongst the means known to the masses, it seems, is specifically the means put forward by V and his Vendetta. And though whereas that is largely set in London, in 2011, it became applicable – largely – to the streets of New York. So Moore had his dream come true.
So far, the 99 percent has lost out to the status quo, largely because the audacity of the protest is still ruled by fear. Revolutions only occur when the fearless and/or those with nothing to lose take to the streets and demand a future for themselves. That is the type of protester that took to the streets in Cairo and succeeded in bringing about change. And so whereas so far we have identified V For Vendetta as the image that rallied people into protest, we have forgotten that other aspect of the movie, which is how Evy and V become reborn, when they let go of their fear, become void of the F of Fear. It is the single most important ingredient… but maybe that is what will happen in 2012. Maybe the TwelF of 2012 will be about conquering Fear.