February 5, 2012
The Atheist Religion
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
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
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.
V For Occupy
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
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.
Tesla's Legacy Under Threat
Long Island, roughly sixty miles east of New York City, sits what
remains of the Wardenclyffe Tower, one of the world’s most
ambitious dreams ever – or at least, what was meant to be,
but which never materialized. The tower was built between 1901
and 1917 by one of the world’s most incredible geniuses,
Nikola Tesla. After an already illustrious career in inventing
such things as alternating current, which laid the foundation
for our modern everyday existence, the tower was meant to be part
of a wireless telecommunications system that would show that wires
were not required for telephones. It might have been an shocking
concept in the early years of the 20th century, but a century
later, wireless communications dominates the world. Indeed, it
remains a total puzzle to me how thousands of megabytes seem to
float in mid-air and yet somehow reach their destination!
In short, the world we live in, is Tesla’s. But the world
does not remember Tesla; the tower is one of the few remaining
monuments that physically remind us of his genius. There isn’t
even a Tesla home, as he largely spent his life living in hotel
rooms. And even the tower itself was never complete; in 1917,
the uppers structure was blown up on orders of the United States
Government, who feared the landmark would be used by German submarines
approaching the East Coast. After the war, the facility was sold
a number of times, eventually ending up with the Belgian photographic
company AGFA, which closed the facility in 1992. Today, the tower
stands for sale – for just over 1.5 million dollars –
and there are plans to build a shopping mall.
When you read about the Wardenclyffe Tower, most commentators
are quick to point out that the facility was never truly operational.
To some extent, that is correct, as the tower was never used for
the purpose it was built for. But Tesla did use the facility for
a number of years, for other experiments. The reason why the tower
was never used, has nothing to do with its original purpose, and
all with what Tesla wanted to use it for.
The tower was almost operational in 1903, when Tesla decided he
would demonstrate one other aspect of his genius: how electrical
energy could be transmitted without the need for power lines.
The entire project was sponsored by one of the richest men in
America, J.P. Morgan. When he found out that wireless electrical
consumption could not be metered, he stopped the development and
made sure none of his fellow millionaires would offer Tesla funding
for its completion. By 1905, all activity on the site was stopped,
with employees laid off the following year. It marked the beginning
of Tesla’s demise; he had become a dangerous eccentric,
one who could upset the economies that ruled the world.
Today, Tesla is largely a forgotten genius. Ask people whether
they know Edison, and they will. Tesla, not so much. But it is
a fact that Tesla’s genius was several times that of Edison.
It is just that Tesla was far more controversial. And thus, in
the end, he was shunned and “actively forgotten”.
But he retains a small but strong following. They have been vociferous
in their attempts to designate the tower as a historic site, a
campaign which started in the late 1960s. Today, the campaign
is all about preserving the tower, as if a shopping mall will
be developed, one of the last physical reminders of Tesla will
be destroyed. The cost of keeping his name alive, it seems, is
1.65 million dollars. The question is whether more than a century
on from J.P. Morgan stopping Tesla, the economies of the 21st
century are any different.
One Global Market
“Cluetrain manifesto” was written in 1999, when the
Internet was still in its infancy. The 95 step manifesto asserted
that the new medium would create a revolution for business marketing,
which would need to be reinvented for this new medium. The central
insights was that the internet allowed for human to human conversations,
which is unlike the marketing models that big business was using.
It argued that what was happening, was that the Internet was a
global conversation, of people.
Markets, in the past, were places where people met. Trading was
only part of a more total, more personal experience. People went
there for social interactions, not just buying goods. “In
many ways, the internet more resembles an ancient bazaar than
it fits the business models companies try to impose on it.”
But then, as our society changed, the importance of the personal
experience of going to the market disappeared, and was replaced
by a one-way communication: the market and its leaders were talking
to the customer and all they cared about was buying and what the
customer should buy. But then the internet arrived and all of
a sudden, the customer was empowered to talk back to the providers
and about the products they offered.
A decade ago, Borders bookshop had two decades of advantage over
Amazon. But what Amazon introduced in its market experience was
that each book could be commented upon and rated. New markets
like eBay allowed everyone to offer their goods without any real
investment in shop fronts and like, meaning that everyone was
competing at an equal footing. Trust in providers was once again
created by a system of customer feedback and their experience
But most refreshing of all was that the new methodology of buying
had become more personal; these markets were conversations, not
just when it came to leaving comments, but even the possibility
of asking the sellers additional questions about their products.
And everyone communicates in a language that is natural, open,
honest, direct and often funny.
It was, in short, the end of business as usual and a return to
“business as before” – the markets had functioned
for millennia. But what the Internet had managed to accomplish
was substitute the traditional, physical market place with a global
market place, one where everyone could come to, hang out, and
if they enjoyed what they were seeing, buy some products.
The 2012 phenomenon is all about the creation of the global village;
the internet as the global market is an aspect of this, and it
is no coincidence that this new market was created and grew from
ca. 1993 onwards, the final katun of the Great Cycle of 13 baktuns
of the Mayan calendar system. The Mayans’ message was always
that the final katun of a Great Cycle was one that would see tremendous
change and this has clearly been the case for our world. We have
become a global village, but we should not forget that we are
also becoming a global market.
What the web accomplished, was to bring back humanity and personality
back to the marketplace. It satisfied a primordial need, which
the corporate world is still largely incapable of delivering.
For it to survive, it will need to find and put on a more human
face and realize that when it comes to selling, we are back to
basics. The internet is a global bazaar.
The End of Alchemy?
used to be a time when alchemists were the right hand man of kings
and emperors. The promise, whether fulfilled or not, of manufacturing
gold almost out of thin air that would aid the royal or imperial
treasure chests was always appealing and was an opportunity not
to be missed, even if the alchemist’s proper credentials
were not always in place. If an alchemist were not invited to
the royal court, he might move onwards to another king, and bestow
his skills on a competing royal – a risk too dangerous for
most to take.
But where is alchemy in the 21st century? The notion of a man
playing with the elements in his laboratory, trying to concoct
gold from “baser elements” might seem like a dinosaur
from a lost era, as today, we should know – as science has
shown to us – that such alchemical transformations are impossible.
Right? And therefore, we no longer find alchemists taking up cabinet
positions or influencing the Obamas and Putins of this world.
Or if it happens, at least not in public.
What happened? My suggestion would be that alchemy became irrelevant.
However, do not get me wrong, I also believe that alchemy has
been proven to be true at the same time that it disappeared. It
is merely the case that we might have failed to notice this.
As the science of alchemy was so nebulous for so many centuries,
the term has come to mean so many things. But most will agree
that alchemy is about the transformation of our reality, the elements,
through certain means. This knowledge was apparently passed down
through secret(ive) schools, maybe from the time of the Ancient
Egyptians onwards. At the core is the belief that “prime
matter”, the atoms, which are all around us, can be transformed
into something far more than what the laws of physics claim or
manifest. For the ancient Egyptians, it was the creator deity,
Atum – hence the name atom – who had created the universe
and everything in it.
The conclusion that our reality is largely a thought construct,
is precisely what quantum physics in the first half of the 20th
century proved. It revealed that below the layer of what we see,
is a sea of quantums, which can be influenced by thought. And
this conclusion is precisely the evidence alchemy sought for thousands
of years. But it is also the single event that apparently made
alchemy obsolete. Somehow, the importance of the interconnected
of those two events seems to have gone unnoticed by all, most
of all, it seems, the alchemists themselves.
But not all. Dennis Hauck is a practicing alchemist with his own
laboratory. He states that he refuses to photograph or videotape
or let people in the part of his laboratory where he stores his
original substances (which he will transform as part of his alchemical
processes), as the alchemist tradition states that if someone
were to merely look at their container, those thoughts will have
an outcome in the alchemical experiment to be performed. This
tradition – which Hauck follows to this very day –
is clearly linked with the conclusions drawn by quantum physics,
which is that thought influences matter: we can influence the
outcome. And that is precisely the alchemical premise adhered
to by thousands of alchemists throughout the ages.
Alchemy flourished when Christianity was all about making sure
that there was a priest as an intermediary between you and experiencing
the divine. That man would dabble in trying to alter God’s
creation was an even worse sacrilege, if not demonic. Today, though
mainstream science has popularly won the war with organized religion,
it nevertheless has placed the same scorn on alchemy the Pope
had used. Even though quantum physics is a proper science, “Science”
as such likes to put it in the corner.
And so, one might say, alchemy was proven by quantum physics,
but at the same time, quantum physics has made alchemy obsolete.
Maybe. A succinct overview of modern alchemy definitely suggests
that the modern alchemists’ preoccupations are isolated
and somewhat outdated – without a proper context. Equally,
I believe that quantum physics could learn more about itself if
alchemists understood the new paradigm better and tried to see
what their discipline could add to this modern science. This resulting
synergy would be for the mutual benefit of both. For it is clear
that whereas quantum physics talks a great talk, the great…
alchemical transformations that this science preaches as gospel
and knows to be true, have had little to no real applications
for the common people, who would be in awe if they could see some
of the magic that quantum physics holds to be true. Seeing is
And so, on the one hand, we have a scientific discipline that
knows the truth, but seems unable to visualize it, and alchemy,
deemed to be a non-science, but specifically preoccupied with
manifesting quantum physics into our reality and visualizing it.
Is alchemy dead? No; like the phoenix, it has transformed itself
into a new science, quantum physics.
Mexican 2012-extraterrestrial secrets, or not?
recent years, I have become associated with the 2012
phenomenon, as well as the question whether our ancestors have
been visited by ancient aliens –
I am one of the faces of the popular and controversial History
Channel documentary, “Ancient Aliens.” I drifted into
both controversies largely because there is a stand-off between
scientists, who argue that both subjects are without any merit,
and the general public, who want to know, and if possible, find
out the truth. It is why the skeptics call me a believer, and
the believers refer to me as a skeptic.
It is now widely known that the Mayan calendar ends on December
21, 2012 AD. This simple fact has led to major Hollywood blockbusters
imaging that it will signal the end of the world, while dozens
of mass-market books speculate as to what will happen on that
day. In spite of all of these things, we know very little about
2012. The only thing we do know, gleaned from one Mayan inscription,
is that the Mayans themselves spoke of a return of the gods.
Over the past few months, the 2012 debate has been livened up
by a stunning allegation made by film producer Raul Julia-Levy.
As reported in newspapers and other media around the world, in
an upcoming documentary, Julia-Levy’s "Revelations
of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond" allegedly argues that the
Mexican government is in the possession of secret information
that shows the end of the Mayan calendar is linked with extraterrestrial
beings. But does it?
What we do know, is that Julia-Levy claims that certain information
has been held secret for eighty years and that his documentary
is backed by the Mexican government, who is allowing him to film
in many previously protected archaeological locations. One of
these sites is Calakmul, where several rooms were discovered inside
a pyramid. Tourism minister for the Mexican state of Campeche
Luis Augusto Garcia Rosado confirmed that they were letting Julia-Levy
film these sites.
Julia-Levy has also said that he had been made aware of secret
Mayan information by former Mexican president Vicente Fox, who
is a friend of his family. It then took him four years before
he got the OK from current president Felipe Calderon to create
this documentary. The English-language documentary will be directed
by Juan Carlos Ruflo and began preproduction in October of 2011.
The film seems to be one of the cornerstones of Mexico’s
2012 Mayan World Program, which is meant to bring tourism to the
Based on this information, it appears that the documentary is
about archaeology. But the international media reported that the
documentary is going to reveal secret information that the Mayans
were in contact with extraterrestrial beings. Following these
reports, it was said that Julia-Levy had been ordered (presumably
by the Mexican authorities) not to talk about any of the more
mystical possibilities. Indeed, it was not Julia-Levy, but the
Tourism Minister Rosado who was quoted in a press release talking
about contact between the Mayans and extraterrestrials. That statement
has been recalled, and Rosado himself now paints this as a simpler,
more archaeological-oriented documentary. When Julia-Levy was
asked to comment on whether the movie would involve aliens, mystical
elements or doomsday scenarios that have fueled the popular imagination,
he declined to elaborate. "I can just say that the Mexican
government is preparing to tell humanity and the world things
that are critical for us, for the way we live, for the way we've
been handling the planet."
The alien angle was aided by – if not created because –Julia-Levy
is involved in a similar project, variously entitled "Chronicles
of the Mayan Tunnel" and "Secrets of the Mayan Time
Machine." In 2010, news of this project made it to the press
and at that time, it was reported that the novel was being written
with the help of "secret information" never before released
by the Mexican government. But Julia-Levy says that this movie,
with an estimated budget of 80 million dollars, has no connection
to the current documentary. That film is on hold as it was to
star Wesley Snipes, who is currently serving a prison sentence
for tax evasion.
Since news about Julian-Levy’s documentary has circulated,
Guatemala's minister of tourism, Guillermo Novielli Quezada, has
added that “Guatemala, like Mexico, [is] home to the ancient-yet-advanced
Mayan civilization” and that it “has also kept certain
provocative archeological discoveries classified, and now believes
that it is time to bring forth this information in the new documentary."
On his personal Facebook page, Julia-Levy said: “I think
the world is ready for the truth, we may have a strong opposition
by the Vatican, but the truth is the truth and we can't hide it
any longer, I'm ready for this journey and ready to tell the world
a story that will change their minds forever.”
So whether or not this story involves extraterrestrial beings,
some great truth or merely first-time access to some archaeological
sites, the world is watching this documentary, and will need to
wait for another year, as it is scheduled to be made into a theatrical
release by late 2012.
Too Big To Fail
big to fail” is probably the scariest movie ever made. It
is about those faithful months of August and September 2008, when
mortgage companies folded and banks needed to be bailed out. The
movie “Too Big To Fail”, made for HBO, identifies
how as a result, ten banks were identified as simply too big to
fail, for if they did, they would bring down not just the entire
American financial system, but the world economy as a whole. They
literally hold the fate of this world in their hand… and
they know it.
As interest in the 2012 phenomenon began to rise, I began to look
for what social changes were occurring and were forecast to occur
in upcoming years. In one Google alert, an economic wizard –
before the collapse of 2008 – predicted a world economic
crisis for 2012. When the 2008 crisis happened, commentators congratulated
him on predicting it, arguing that he did however get the year
wrong. His reply: “no I didn’t.”
As the end credits of “Too Big To Fail” roll, it is
clear that TARP, the government plan to solidify American markets,
was a plaster on a broken leg. That the government realized certain
incredibly draconian and major measures had to happen, as otherwise
the world economy would collapse.
When you analyze the world economy, we all know by now that it
is built on trust. But it is also built on thin air. The world
economy has truly not been stimulated since the end of the Cold
War, i.e. 1990-ish. Before, growth was largely the result of defense
expenditure. Peace, however, all of a sudden meant less spending
on the staple ingredient of a world economy based on fear. So
a series of new economic motors were advertised, from the dot
com bubble, to the housing market, in efforts to push the markets
ever upwards. In between, 9/11 was used to even bring out the
notion that security systems and like would help boost and inject
the economy. Nothing worked… In medical terms, the world
economy’s heart has stopped beating a long time ago and
all attempts to revive the patient have failed.
So when the housing market collapsed, it became apparent just
how grand the self-delusions – and greed – of the
financial sector truly were. And because this was not just a folie
à deux, but a mass hallucination, it not only brought down
various parts of the financial industry, but almost brought down
the entire system.
So we know that in the aftermath of this crisis, the banks for
a period of time didn’t lend to customers, as the US government
had hoped they would do with the money that was given to them.
But as that hurdle is now apparently smoothed out, we all seem
to live in the belief that the financial sector is once again
stable. But is it? But is the global economy largely not surviving
because there is little economic news to report these days? One
might almost consider it to be a conspiracy of silence, in which
the silence itself is there to guarantee – or enable, or
maybe allow – the world economy to buy time, until “something”
will happen that will re-inject some true spine in the markets.
But how can this be when everywhere individuals, like American
homeowners who continue to be foreclosed, have no faith in the
So the notion that the greatest economic collapse is still to
happen in 2012 is not such a fantasy. And what 2011 is showing,
is that whereas governments were still pretty robust in 2008,
by 2012, this is definitely no longer to be taken for granted.
To make matters worse: “world oil” largely moved from
dollars to Euros in the last decade. That seemed a wise move,
as the American economy seemed to slow down, while Europe seemed
a cauldron of vitality. But in 2011, several European states are
teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and some of them are not
small economies. In August 2011, Germany saw 0.1% growth, which
largely resulted in an emergency summit between French president
Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel, as this was potentially
apocalyptic news for the survival of the Euro and the Union.
Creating an economy on a continent that does not have true political
union was risky at best, but it might become the death of the
world economy; for if banks cannot be bailed out by governments,
some of whom are close to defaulting on their own loans, the end
of the world as we know it, is truly near.
The collapse of this house of card will occur at some point. And
it might not be long. And it might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Why? Because it is not real. We are shackled to a system that
fails, because it was never truly real and right now, we are keeping
it alive, because somehow we feel it is vital. But if history
has taught us anything, it is that it simply is not so.
When the Berlin Wall fell, one television reporter asked a commentator
whether this showed that capitalism had won over communism. He
answered that the Soviet bloc had never been a true communist
regime, but he added that it merely showed that communism seemed
to have more flaws than capitalism, implying dire times were ahead
of that too. He too, was proven to be right, though it took almost
twenty years before that became apparent.
Cowboys and Aliens
Cowboys and Aliens together as the title of a film is an unlikely
combination and from all the information gathered from the previews,
there was a moderate chance that the film starring Daniel Craig
and Harrison Ford would be cheesy, but the end product was not.
In the early production days of Season 3 of Ancient Aliens, it
became clear that the season’s start would coincide with
the release of the movie, and hence, that same combination, of
ancient aliens and cowboys, was explored in the first episode
of the new season. The era of the cowboys is not necessarily ancient,
but the era does define a rawness of mankind, an era of survival
in a harsh often hostile quite often alien environment.
The Aurora Crash of 1897 is somewhat
within the bailiwick of cowboys, but during the interviews for
the show, what became apparent to me, was how the New World and
its inhabitants was literally an alien landscape for the Western
explorers. Here were people speaking a language no-one could understand,
in a landscape that often looked otherworldly – imagine
the first explorers walking into the Grand Canyon or Monument
Valley. If we ever need to imagine how we would feel if we were
to discover an extra-terrestrial civilization somewhere in the
universe, the mindset of these explorers as they pushed west across
America is one of the most touchable historic examples.
When it comes to areas of New Mexico (where the movie is set)
or Arizona (or so many other states), you are confronted with
Native American lore about thunderbirds and other gods that were
once said to have lived amongst the local population, before they
disappeared from interacting with these people. And it are such
stories that make Cowboys & Aliens come to life. Here is a
story of otherworldly beings, including magical other-dimensional
beings that can rise from the dead.
But let us turn the perspective around and it becomes apparent
that the arrival of the Europeans in the New World caused tremendous
devastation. We were the alien invaders. Here were people with
magical weapons that fired, which killed at an instant. They spoke
an alien language which no-one could understand. Everywhere they
went, they left disaster – often totally undesired, because
of the various diseases to which Europeans were immune, but which
wreaked havoc amongst the native population. If we weren’t
the people conquering America, what would we have made of the
fantastical accounts left behind by these Native Americans? Would
it not have sounded utterly fantastical? The very stuff of myths
and legends? I think the answer is a likely yes.
Director Jon Favreau was aware of the classic ancient alien discussion
point, which is that the party with the highest technology has
a distinct advantage. At no point in Cowboys and Aliens, however,
are they mistaken for gods. But this stand-off between a low and
high technology culture also means that the cowboys and the Native
Americans come together in the hope of defeating the technologically
superior culture. It is also often reported, in UFOlogical circles,
that if Mankind was faced with a common, extraterrestrial enemy,
the nations of the world would quickly unite. And this is on display
in the movie.
Though the movie is largely there for entertainment purposes only
and does not have any profound message for its viewers, below
the surface, the big themes of the alien debate are present, worked
into the framework of the movie, rather than in most visible layer
Atlantis and Crete: an unhappy marriage
number one hate of archaeology has to be Atlantis. The attempts
to explain it away or park it somewhere safe remain a favourite
kneejerk reaction from the armchair scientists. For them, the
veracity of the Atlantis account as written by Plato simply cannot
be, for scientists “know” a civilization cannot have
existed 9600 BC in the Atlantic Ocean.
Though Plato wrote about Atlantis in a book on history, some “clever”
historians have argued that it is nevertheless not a real civilization,
but an “idealized state”. And they assume they can
get away with it, by adding the word “philosopher”
in front of Plato’s name. Others, like historian Alan Cameron,
state: “It is only in modern times that people have taken
the Atlantis story seriously; no one did so in antiquity.”
No, Mr. Cameron; this is simply not true. Though many Greeks were
indeed sceptical of the Atlantis story when they heard it for
the first time, the story in its telling and context was Egyptian
in origin, introduced to the Greeks by Plato, who recorded what
he had learned from Solon, the man who had heard the story in
Egypt. We could classify it as second-hand evidence or hearsay,
but unlike today, the few enterprising sceptical Greeks actually
went to Egypt to disprove Plato’s account. When they returned
home, they confirmed that Plato had indeed written the truth:
the Egyptians had an account that spoke of a lost civilization,
known as Atlantis. They had seen the story written on the walls
of the Egyptian temples themselves.
Whereas several scientists argue that Atlantis is an idealized
state, a more common trend, in vogue in recent decades within
the archaeological community, is to park Atlantis on the island
of Thera/Santorini, an island just north of Crete. In the middle
of the first millennium BC, the volcano that is Santorini had
a violent eruption that destroyed some of the urban settlements
on the island, like Akrotiri, though it had a far more nefarious
effect on the Minoan civilization that reigned over the Mediterranean
waters from Crete to the south.
In his Atlantis account, Plato wrote how “there occurred
violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night
of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth,
and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths
of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable
and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way;
and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.” It
is the favourite passage from Plato that archaeologists and historians
like to quote when it comes to the Thera=Atlantis solution, for
of course Santorini was a sudden, violent event, which heralded
the demise of the Minoan civilization. On the North coast of Crete,
you can still see the various geological layers that testify of
But what about all the other evidence, related by Plato, which
does not fit with Thera and the Minoan civilization as being Atlantis?
First of all, its location. Plato describes it as outside of the
Pillars of Hercules, which today is better known as Gibraltar,
the rocky outcrop that defines the southern tip of Spain. Thera
is located inside the Mediterranean Sea, not outside the Mediterranean
Sea. What about age? The volcano erupted in ca. 1500 BC, while
Atlantis was destroyed nine thousand years before Plato. But most
importantly: what about size? Plato gives an extremely detailed
description of the dimensions of the walls of Atlantis, making
it clear that the island was several hundred miles wide and long,
with the “walls” of Atlantis itself roughly two hundred
miles from the sea itself. This size is simply impossible to fit
either on Santorini as well as on the far larger island of Crete.
When we take the three ingredients together, it shows that Thera
or Crete simply could not have been Atlantis. For Thera to work
as Atlantis, a tremendous redux has to occur of all the information
Plato offered about this civilization. This pick and mix approach
is highly unscientific, but when it comes to explaining inconvenient
legends like Atlantis away, the scientific approach is the first
to be thrown out. The question is: how often are we going to see
science – and television stations, the BBC chiefly amongst
them – regurgitate this fallacy? Atlantis is not Crete.
Roswell: the USSR Hoax?
opinion on UFOs is that there is a genuine phenomenon, but that
most of what we believe – from Roswell, via MJ-12 and “the
conspiracy” – is deliberate government misinformation.
My series of articles on this topic, collectively called UFOgate,
are amongst the least requested articles by magazines for inclusion
in their pages, suggesting not many alternative researchers want
to hear this opinion.
I am therefore extremely happy that a book is tackling Roswell
in an innovative way. The person responsible is Annie Jacobsen,
a Los Angeles based journalist, who in her bestselling and high
profile book on Area 51, has claimed that the truth about Roswell
can be found with Joseph Stalin sending a Horten-disk equipped
ship, manned by children, to the heartland of America’s
atomic development, in an effort to frighten the US government.
The UFO researchers who maintain Roswell is all about ET have
pointed out that “all” we have for this is an anonymous
source – an engineer who worked at the site in 1978 –
that spoke to Jacobsen, or that she herself might be part of a
disinformation campaign to deny the “alien truth”.
Some UFO researchers like Dick Farley have expressed their dissatisfaction
with their colleagues who refuse to look at the evidence, or read
the book, because that might make their fragile house of cards
Since the publication of the book, the anonymous source has been
identified as 89 year old former EG&G Rotron scientist Alfred
O'Donnell. When contacted by UFO researcher Anthony Braglia, O’Donnell
confirmed he knew Annie Jacobsen, but he would not state outright
that he was her source for the Roswell story, though he did not
deny it either.
Jacobsen, relying on a single source, may not be totally correct,
but is no doubt very close to the truth. The nuance is in some
of the interpretation. I am not totally convinced it was meant
to be an act of intimidation on behalf of Stalin. And engineers
in Area 51 or the CIA would not have known the motivation as to
why Stalin did what did. All we know, is that a Horten disk, apparently
remotely controlled, with genetically manipulated children inside,
crashed during a thunderstorm near Roswell, which at the time
– before Area 51 existed – was at the heart of America’s
nuclear program; Roswell was the only base where planes with nuclear
bombs were stationed. In the days before satellites, Stalin must
have done his utmost to get information from that facility, and
the Roswell crash may have been an accident, as the craft did
crash during a thunderstorm.
A Horten disk is one of those machines you read about in “free
energy” books, for it was developed by the Nazis using “new”
technology and then disappeared into oblivion, apparently into
Russian hands. That Roswell was a Horten disk, is actually supported
by better evidence than the words of one anonymous source. And
whereas one might argue that the source was told a lie and that
the craft was not Russian but alien, the following papers make
it apparent that is not the case. In 1994, the US government responded
to a Freedom of Information Act request by UFO researcher Timothy
Cooper, releasing details about “Operation Harass”.
This turned out to be papers showing that in 1947-8, the CIA were
in a terrible hurry and tried their utmost to locate the Horten
brothers, who somehow had not been rounded up by either the Soviets
or Americans. The CIA eventually located them. Why did the CIA
all of a sudden want to speak to them so urgently? The answer
comes from a journalist who contacted Reimar Horten in Argentina.
Horten agreed to be interviewed, but said he did not want to speak
about the CIA. Why? Horten said that the CIA once came to him
with questions as he had allegedly designed a flying saucer! This
is very intriguing evidence that what crashed at Roswell, was
indeed a Horten disk, and that subsequently the CIA went in search
of the Horten brothers, to find out more details.
The question is whether the Horten disk was meant to spy on US
nuclear facilities and whether its crash was intentional or accidental.
Jacobsen believes the crash was on purpose and that Stalin hoped
that the news would cause panic in the US, on par with what occurred
following Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938.
Until we find papers from Stalin’s era, I would argue a
straightforward accident is the likeliest scenario.
So what about its occupants? They were believed to have been the
result of scientific experiments performed on humans by Nazi doctor
Josef Mengele. I think it is likely these occupants themselves
were there as part of a test. Nazi Germany had a track record
of experimenting with human beings. The basic idea was that the
human body could be adjusted in certain ways as to better cope
with high altitude and zero gravity. The Nazis had a inhumane
approach to resolving the problem, but in the 1990s, it was discovered
that the US government had used human test subjects too. It is
logical to assume the Soviets would not have been left out.
So what Jacobsen’s book presents, is a new perspective on
Roswell. It is no doubt very close to the truth, though may not
be the final truth. For that, papers from 1947 will need to be
released, especially the old archives of the USSR need to be located,
for the truth about Roswell seems to reside there. But until that
time, we can only hope that some people within the UFO field will
take the opportunity to seriously look at Jacobsen’s and
related material, and begin to redefine “Roswell”.
Tudor Pole’s Message for Our Time
years ago, we bought a CD in Glastonbury: “A Message for
the Coming Time”, a recording made in 1963 by Wellesley
Tudor Pole. He was one of the instigators of preserving Glastonbury’s
Chalice Well, but on this CD, you can hear the man’s spiritual
vision. In “2012, Science or Fiction?”, I list non-Mayan
prophecies for our times, and in that line, I could have added
Tudor Pole as one of those who saw our current era as one of great
In this lecture in 1963, he uttered his conviction that fifty
years ago, a century had begun, which would culminate in fifty
years – 2013 – and which would be a decisive moment:
either we would move on to a higher spiritual plane, or Mankind
would fall back to its most basest of living conditions. So from
1913 onwards – the year before the First World War –
until 2013, Earth was at a crossroads. He believed that in this
time, Mankind was guided by intelligences from beyond this plane
of existence, and specifically mentioned the archangel Michael
as the person who would make sure that light would conquer the
forces of chaos, darkness. How? Tudor Pole was convinced that
for this to happen, light merely had to shine. And when it shined,
joy and happiness would be. And if we could live in love, joy
and happiness, the forces of chaos would have no hold over us.
For this, the forces of good had apparently created a “Blended
Ray”, which had blended the Energy of Love with the Energy
of Wisdom. This Blended Ray was there to “bless and inspire
Mankind as well as all life on Earth.” To put it in 1963
posh-English speak: “this Blended Ray has manifested in
a particularly potent manner to inspire and prepare the way for
the Dawn of a new Dispensation for the Human Race, an era of Goodwill,
Brotherhood and Peace.”
So long before the Mayan Calendar became popular, or even before
the Age of Aquarius reached its peak in the late 1960s, Tudor
Pole was already emphasising our times as a time of great change
– the end of one era, and the beginning of a new one. Instrumental
in this change was the macrocosmos and the microcosmos. He speaks
with great emphasis on the division of the atom that led to the
atomic bomb, arguing that we needed to properly harness this energy,
as otherwise, it could lead to serious repercussions. When we
look at the historical record, it is clear that we have an imperfect
score. Mankind did manage not to blow itself into annihilation,
to which we came closest during the Cold War, and specifically
the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. But the “peaceful”
exploration of the atom, especially for energy, has clearly soiled
the earth greatly: Chernobyl in 1986 and the recent disasters
in Japan stand out. And I find it interesting that Tudor Pole
specifically warned for this peaceful usage of the atom –
an unusual warning to be heard at the depths of the Cold War,
and one which Mankind did not take then; it seems Japan 2011 needed
to occur before several nations in this world began to seriously
reconsider their atomic energy policy.
He also used the separation of the atom as an analogy for how
in modern Man, the intellect and the heart had become detached
and how this separation had lead to some of the greatest atrocities
ever witnessed on the earth – and 48 years on, this is still
the case. Living by the intellect, we have abandoned our soul.
We live in a world of scientific reductionism, in which death,
spirit, the soul and all things paranormal are “out of bounds”,
however much our heart, when used, feels and knows those topics
are the only true sciences worth studying. Indeed, the separation
of the mind and soul seems to be so omnipresent with most of us,
for there is no real cry of outrage that science should give the
exploration of the “paranormal” total precedence.
Or maybe it is because we perfectly know the attitude the mass
of scientists would take if this challenge were placed in front
Give Peace a Chance
1991, when President George Bush – now referenced as Senior
– decided to attack Iraq because of its invasion of Kuwait,
a group of musicians labelled themselves “The Peace Choir”
and re-recorded “Give Peace a Chance”, originally
released by John Lennon. The British BBC decided not to air the
song either on radio or television, for it was felt that the song
was too controversial. Of course, by 1991, the two decades old
song was already world famous, hummed and whistled on a daily
basis. But it was, together with “War Is Over” and
“Imagine” part of a trilogy of songs written by Lennon
that sent out a powerful message of peace, a message which the
leaders of those and our times did not want to hear.
War, rather than peace, is the ambition of politicians, even though
they declare that wars are instigated to protect “our freedom”,
even though our freedom is condensed more and more by those same
politicians, “for our protection”. Of course. Logical.
The 20th century knew three fervent promoters of the Message of
Peace: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon.
All three were assassinated. Two were politically active, but
Lennon was a musician. But he understood better than anyone that
the entire world was his stage, due to the popularity of The Beatles.
“The Summer of 1968” was in part Lennon’s creation,
for an entire young generation listened to Lennon as one of their
potential social leaders.
Personally, Lennon hoped that this new generation did not need
or listened to leaders. He was convinced that everyone suffered
from a “father problem”. He himself had grown up without
the presence of his dad, but that was not the key problem: once
an adult, Lennon believed, everyone looked towards politicians
and religious leaders as substitute-dads and this was one of the
primary problems of society. And though he preached a revolution,
he felt that protest marches were not the right way to bring about
change. Rallies were always abused by the authorities and the
larger they were, the more death or destruction seemed to accompany
So how was the Revolution of Peace to come about? It was a subject
that Lennon had pondered from the early days of his fame. Once
a phenomenon, Lennon realized that everything he said, would not
only be scrutinized, but also became headline news the world over.
One somewhat loose remark about Jesus made him a most controversial
figure in the United States and even resulted in a series of death
threats. When he was asked about the war in Vietnam, he bit his
tongue for many years, until he could no longer suppress his opinion.
By that time, the world had come around to his point of view.
He realized that people looked to him as a prophet. But as he
realized that the entire world listened to what he had to say,
and sometimes went ballistic over it, he realized that there were
two distinct methods on how he could, if not should, manage the
rest of his life.
He knew that his words could unleash commotion if not a revolt
with an entire generation, if he so wanted to. He could become
a demagogue. But if he were to, he would become a substitute father
himself and that is not what he wanted to accomplish. Instead,
he felt that the Revolution of Peace had to occur inside each
of us. That he had to meditate and had to live in peace and harmony
with himself. Internal peace had to be established and from this
core, the world would change, if everyone could embrace this basic
message. That was the Peace Message that Lennon wanted to send
into the world and music was his initial vehicle.
And why was he murdered? Of course, the standard version is that
it was a coincidence, but look beyond the official line and it
is obvious that many authorities considered Lennon to be a lose
cannon – a man who greatly upset the standard social status
quo. He was world famous, had the ear of millions if not billions,
and preached a message of peace at a time of war. Once The Beatles
dissolved and he was married to Yoko Ono, the message of peace
became coupled with a message of love. United, Lennon and Ono
began to organize specific campaigns so that the world heard the
message of peace and love time after time. It had become his mantra.
But it was a mantra that was the opposite of the Message of the
(Cold) War that the substitute dads preached. And thus Lennon
was “accidentally” killed by a lone gunman. But thirty
years onwards, his message remains present in the collective unconscious
and hopefully continues to inspire more than just one generation
Sitchin, aliens and God
someone who appears frequently on The History Channel’s
series “Ancient Aliens”, one of the more frequent
questions or objections I receive is whether ET killed God. My
answer is a definitive no, and let me explain why.
There are various types of ancient alien hypotheses and the more
literal they are, the more often I find they are erroneous, especially
if they are riding on the tail of a “mega-theory”.
Take the most famous example of the field: Zecharia Sitchin introduced
the notion of the existence of a twelfth planet into our solar
system, arguing that this was knowledge possessed by the ancient
Sumerians and that the race that lived on this planet, named Nibiru,
had colonised Earth and genetically modified our ancestors into
us. Only he could correctly translate the Sumerian language, he
claimed, and though he maintained so for four decades, we know
he read the Sumerian language – at best – poorly.
According to Sitchin, the planet Nibiru had an elliptical orbit,
which according to astronomers – and common logic –
is unlikely to be possible, especially if that planet would also
be comfortable in sustaining life along its 3600 year orbit through
our solar system. But the less evidence there is for Nibiru’s
existence, the more fundamentalist some people come in their promotion
and belief of it.
With the arrival of the 2012-phenomenon, Sitchin-fans decided
that maybe it was a good idea to link 2012 with the idea that
this was the return of Nibiru. But fact of the matter is that
if this were the case, this planet would now be clearly visible
in our skies, even if there was a massive scientific cover-up
in place to “deny the truth”, as some would have it.
But it does underline the all too common notion that if two unexplained
mysteries are coupled, that somehow this is proof that both are
Sitchin’s fan argue that astronomers have noted an unusual
pattern in the influx of comets as they enter our solar system,
suggestive that maybe there is a planet far out there, in the
so-called Oort Cloud. The anomalies could be explained if there
was a planet one to four times the mass of Jupiter. Indeed, “some”
astronomers argue that indeed, but there is no evidence for this
planet, even though it should be easily detectable, especially
if it were to be due for arrival near Earth next year. So, in
short, the promoters of “Planet X” – as the
planet is commonly referred to – have no evidence.
You might wonder why Sitchin or his theories are not more prominently
part of the “Ancient Aliens” series. The answer is
quite simple: Sitchin had theories and tried to make the evidence
fit his theories. So, yes, whereas Sitchin states that “ET
was here”, it is in the detail that his theory is lost.
And I would go as far as to say that he did the entire field a
disservice, for he was both vociferous and cantankerous in the
defence of his theories. Sitchin mistranslated, but specifically
If Nibiru is anything, it is indeed a place of crossing: the crossing
of one world to another. But not of planet Earth to planet Nibiru,
but from the earthly realm to the land of the dead, and the gods.
This is a metaphysical explanation, and yes, I do take the explanation
of the soul crossing over literally. Not literally in a physical
sense, but literally in a metaphysical sense. For I am convinced
that there is more to this universe than the mere physical universe;
that there are both extra-terrestrial and otherworldly beings…
both of whom are definitely alien to our civilization but when
you study such topics as the fairy faith of the ancient Celts,
it is clear that these ancient civilizations were far more familiar
with these creatures than we are.
So, once again, we live in an “and universe”: a universe
with room for otherworldly and extra-terrestrial creatures. For
we not only have one topic that science needs to explore, but
several which it has shied and continues to shy away from. We
not merely need to ask the question whether or not we were alone,
but also ask questions about other dimensions. History and reality
are far more complex than the neat theories of science, or Sitchin.
Reality is complex. So is history. But that makes it all the more
The Adjustment Bureau
George Nolfi’s adjustment of Philip K Dick’s short
story, “The Adjustment Bureau” is an organisation
that makes sure “The Plan” is executed. Congressman
David Norris accidentally sees hat-wearing “case officers”
adjusting the fate of himself and his entourage, after running
into his soul mate – a woman he is not supposed to see as
“the Chairman” of the Adjustment Bureau believes that
if they find love, “The Plan” he has outlined for
the world will not come to fruition.
The paradigm of the movie is that free will and chance are antagonists,
with the Bureau making sure that free will does not result in
holocausts and world wars, but that it is instead curtailed –
which is why there is a Plan. However, the key message is that
The Plan is only that: a plan. And on occasion, things like true
love – for Love Conquers All – are not only allowed
to occur, but seem to be pushed so powerfully that it will change
the course of planned history. But also that “Free will
is a gift that you only use when you have to fight for it.”
The story therefore captures the beautiful dichotomy of destiny
and free will. The dichotomy is most famous when it comes to astrology,
whereby the story goes that we are moved by the planets –
or at least that at the moment of birth, there is a cosmic imprint
made upon us, which is our destiny. This is what will happen to
us, unless we use our free will properly. It was one of the greatest
astrologers and minds of all times, the Renaissance scholar Marsilio
Ficino, who said that the true magus ruled his stars, rather than
being ruled by the stars.
When we delve into accounts of people who have accessed past lives
and life in between lives –Michael Newton has catalogued
his research in a number of books – we hear consistent accounts
that before our birth, we do agree to a plan: a map of as to how
our life will unfold, with milestones planned in, very much like
a project plan; that we want to see certain important things accomplished
by certain dates/ages. Newton and others make it clear that this
plan will guide a person’s development – his destiny
– though adjustments to the plan can be made at any moment
in time (though it rarely happens).
Take this idea out of the imaginal, otherworldly realm, and you
end up with The Adjustment Bureau, in which angels are case officers
and magical powers are only acquired if one wears a hat.
What the movie perfectly illustrates, too, is that the Chairman
really is God; that They have created a dichotomy which is at
its core, an illusion, so that we would really press hard for
the rights of free will and use it to meet our true destiny. And
this is where The Adjustment Bureau echoes Hermetic material,
as the possibility to use Free Will is vey much like a Grail Quest:
it is placed at our disposal, but David Norris needs to fight
hard for it, and enter the Bureau Headquarters, to win the right
– very much like the Grail knight needs to enter the Grail
Castle and prove his worth.
Of course, in Newton’s and Hermetic thought, there is no
real stand-off between destiny and free will. And this is why
the Hermetic tradition also provides a path not mentioned in the
movie, which is the path of surrender, in which the seeker entrusts
the path in the hands of God. This Plan is the unity of free will
and destiny, in which total faith and trust in God is given over
to the Chairman – it is maybe what makes you an Adjuster.
E.T. is our home
Los Angeles home is in Porter Ranch, a residential area in “the
Valley”, making up the north of Los Angeles. Hardly a day
goes by when we don’t have to cross streets like White Oak
Avenue, while Brasilia Drive is locally notorious for the house
on the corner with Reseda, whose Halloween display attracts thousands
of local visitors each year. None of these streets will ring a
bell with anyone – not even most people from the Valley
– as they are nowhere near as famous as other “real
L.A.” streets like Sunset Boulevard or Rodeo Drive. But
this area of Porter Ranch is where many of the scenes of Steven
Spielberg’s “E.T.” were filmed. It is why Porter
Ridge Park, at the top of Reseda, is better known amongst locals
as “E.T. Park” than under its real name.
“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” is a movie that is remembered
for all the right reasons. It left an imprint on an entire generation.
Shortly after we had moved in, Giorgio Tsoukalos came to our home
and we related the E.T.-connections of this area. He explained
how as a child, he had identified with Elliot, but as he grew
up, he realised that he was Peter Coyote’s unnamed character,
but nicknamed “Keys” because of the keys he has on
him. Though for many he is the nemesis of Elliot, “Keys”
tells Elliot that he has waited to see an alien since he was ten
years old. What is happening – alien contact – is
therefore a dream come true for both of them.
The vision of E.T. was Spielberg’s, who developed an imaginary
alien creature as his personal companion when he was a child himself,
after his parents had divorced. The movie is largely autobiographical,
on an imaginary scale. But living in Porter Ranch, driving up
Reseda at night and seeing the lights of the Valley below you
(as in the movie) or driving along White Oak and imaging Elliot
take off on his bike are a magical dimension laid onto this landscape
by Spielberg. The crew spent only eleven days filming here, but
its legacy on Porter Ranch is – three decades later –
Porter Ranch thirty years ago was being built – as is apparent
in many of the scenes. The police car chase ends with a view of
Mission Peak and its surrounding area, a view we can see from
our home which was not yet built at the time. Today, Porter Ranch
is residential and known for it. The only somewhat weird activity
that occurs in Porter Ranch and which is visible to residents
is geocaching, but imagining NASA personnel walking through the
streets with Geiger counters in search of extra-terrestrial beings
is something where your mind wanders to because of the movie.
For E.T. is so… real. It is like a layer laid upon reality,
but touchable – and I guess to some extent it is, for you
only need to put the movie into your DVD player and there it is.
What happens in Porter Ranch is to me a 20th century version of
an ancient shamanic landscape. The shaman saw not only the land
with his physical eyes, he always so it with his mind, as a result
of which he saw spirits, demons, the ancestors, each and all of
which he could connect with. The movie E.T. is like a film (pun
intended) that is placed over Porter Ranch. Always there, as soon
as you are aware that this is the landscape where E.T. was filmed.
It is that knowledge that gives the eyes to see…
If E.T. was a religious experience, the sites immortalised on
celluloid would have been marked with oratories and churches –to
some extent that is what has happened. When the Porter Ridge Park
playground was to be refurbished, there was a campaign to make
sure that the caterpillar remained, as it was so linked with ET.
It had become a landmark and when you go on film buff websites,
you will find it is an important destination for those doing an
ET pilgrimage to Porter Ranch. For them, the area has become sacred…
Why? Because it is not so much that the gods walked here, but
because it is a landscape where magic and emotions were experienced,
and for which we want it to be remembered. The History Channel’s
slogan is that history is made everyday. So are sacred places…
reading my friend Mark Pilkington’s excellent book “Mirage
Men”, I came across a paragraph in which he relates a short
quote of Karla Turner, a “UFO abductee” and author
of “Into the Fringe” – she also wrote “Taken”.
Mark refers to her mention of floating silver spheres –
UFOS – which she sees, but which to her are “repositories…
where human souls are somehow recycled.” She further believed
that inside the spheres, these souls were implanted into women’s
wombs, a procedure that she described as both surgical and spiritual.
Most UFO abduction writers take most things extremely literally,
which is how we have come to the point where extra-terrestrial
– apparently malevolent – creatures are abducting
human beings and engineering our DNA. But Turner goes beyond that
and suggests that the aliens even interfere with our souls?
The same trend is apparent in Whitley Strieber’s relatively
recent novel “2012”, subtitled “The War for
Souls”. Strieber has mixed his horror-writing expertise
with autobiographical accounts of his own anomalous, in his interpretation,
extra-terrestrial abduction encounters and argues that “the
war” the aliens are fighting is to harvest our souls –
in some Luciferian apocalyptic plot.
I don’t want to spend too much space pointing out that abductions
to other realms didn’t begin with the arrival of the UFO
phenomenon – it is well-documented in fairy lore and other
cultures and goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.
What I do want to spend time on, is the notion that we might be
an “alien” soul in a human body. All of us. Not just
“some” of us. It is something that was expressed for
thousands of years and was written down in the Corpus Hermeticum.
Seeing the Corpus was a synopsis of the Ancient Egyptian religion,
it can be argued that this is also what the Ancient Egyptians
believed and knew: that we had a body, but that our soul was somehow
“alien” – from elsewhere. Today, we might indeed
call it alien, or extra-terrestrial, but I prefer to call it stardust.
Part of the Divine Spark.
In the Corpus, it is said that a human being has several levels
of intellectual and spiritual existence, somewhat on par with
the three levels of the brain that science has uncovered. The
Hermeticists believe(d) that a human body had an intelligence
of its own, but that this began a co-operation with a spirit that
somehow came from elsewhere and entered it around the moment of
birth. The end result is you, and me, and all of us.
As bizarre as this may sound, Michael Newton’s “Journey
of Souls”, which describes case studies of people that he
has hypnotised so that these people can describe the life between
lives. The book is very much in agreement with the Hermetic assessment
of how souls enter our body. The soul speaks of utilizing the
body and that they don’t control the human mind as such,
but try to elevate it.
Newton has reached these insights practically, through hypnotising
people and analysing their stories. Indeed, in the West, we often
think that religion was somehow either divinely inspired by the
likes of Jesus or Mohammed or fabricated by the Church, but there
is also the practical exploration of the mind, and from those
observations, the creation of a framework. Thus, it is entirely
possible that in our distant past, people experimented with the
mind, reached the same conclusion as Newton, and wrote it down.
So where does this leave Karla Turner? Her observations might
be totally correct, but her interpretation of these things being
a purely extra-terrestrial affair, might be too small of a framework.
But in the final analysis, we might indeed be alien minds occupying
human bodies, and we don’t even know it ourselves.
Mayans and Hopi believe that we live in the Fourth
World (though some traditions list it as the Fifth World).
The previous eras were considered to be all about human evolution
on a physical level, while the present world – which began
in ca. 3000 BC and will come to an end in 2012 AD – is about
psychological – or to be more precise spiritual –
Though some civilisations date back to 10,000 BC, mostly, civilisation
as we define it today started in Europe, the Middle East, Northern
Africa, Asia and pockets of the New World in ca. 3000 BC. Civilisation
was a global event, often happening independent from each other,
from ca. 3000 BC onwards… as if it was a cosmic imperative.
How civilisation came about is not truly the point. But it is
clear that civilisation has brought us to the 21st century, where
all of these civilisations have melted into one global civilisation,
creating a global village where everyone is connected via phone
networks, millions of flights crisscrossing our skies and an economy
on a global scale. We are all connected. Whether we like it, or
Most of these changes, or at least radical revolutions, have occurred
in the last two decades. This, too, is in accordance with the
prophecies of the Mayans, who singled out the period of 1993 to
2012 – the final “mini-era” of the 5000 year
cycle – as a time of great change. We are, as they say,
in “the thick of it”.
With great periods of change comes great uncertainty if not fear.
An old world is disappearing and a new one is born. What does
the future hold for us? “We don’t know” is the
answer… but it is also up to us to define it! The central
legends of the Mayans state that at the turning point of each
Age, “leaders” – selected individuals –
convene to define the fate of the New Age with the gods. Though
the general trend (e.g. that it is of a spiritual nature) of such
a change is predetermined, specifics are left to be worked out.
It is therefore an interesting combination of predetermination
and free will.
The general trend of all ages is about evolution and human development.
The general trend of this age will obviously be further human
integration and spiritual growth. At the same time, each turning
point has a review of the previous Age, where appropriate conclusions
If we look at the world today, we might say it is in bad shape.
Switch on any news channel and you will be told that the world
is allegedly a very bad place. Indeed, it could be better. But
look upon it from the perspective of 5000 years and make a conclusion
based on that and a totally different picture emerges, I think.
5000 years ago we were largely individual tribes, going on an
adventure that should be described as “tribal” or
“national”. Today, we still have nations, but we also
have come to the understanding that we are one world. However
much some political parties feel they have to play the isolationist
card – that “out there” there are “those”
who are “out to get us” – the fact of the matter
is that we are working together and working together is the only
way forward. There is no alternative and anyone who pretends there
is, is either stupid or a demagogue. Or both.
We ARE a global village and we have become global citizens. That
is the FutureMankind. This comes with tremendous challenges and
problems, which frustrate and infuriate many. But is that such
a bad thing?
The challenge of the New Age is therefore to embrace this even
further, and work on some of the outstanding agenda from this
age that is not yet fulfilled. Don Alejandro, a Mayan elder, sees
the world post 2012 as a world in which we can fly on airplanes
without passports. Indeed, borders and the insistency in keeping
them “solid” – including “Fortress America”
– have no future. Reality is that borders are not solid
(and never were) and they are in many cases total illusions –
take for example most borders drawn in Africa or in the middle
of a sea. But they continue to be the biggest contributor to division,
death and war, for no real reason other than “national interests”,
which truly have become another illusion too. There are no more
“national interests”. In truth, there only ever was,
is and will be “human interest” and our challenge
is to understand to the fullest as soon as possible. That is FutureMankind.
wrote that Orion’s Arms were “wide enough to hold
the both of us”. The ancient Egyptians linked the constellation
with their god Horus (not Osiris) and
the Mayans saw Orion’s Belt and its Nebula below as the
“Fire of the Sky”, where a New Fire was lit at the
beginning of the Fifth World – the one to end on December
Imagine my surprise, therefore, to find that right now, Betelgeuse,
one of the brightest stars in the sky but also a principal definer
of the constellation of Orion might stage-manage and star in the
greatest show in the sky!
For some time now, Betelgeuse has been losing mass, indicative
of a collapse. It could go super-nova at any time, though no-one
has been able to put a definitive timeline on it. It could be
a few years, or a few hundreds of thousands of years. But when
Betelgeuse does go supernova, for a few days or even weeks, it
will light up the sky to such an extent that it would be very
visible, as luminous at least as the moon – the nights would
not be like anything we know right now.
There is tremendous speculation about 2012 and the catastrophes
that should occur at the end of the Mayan calendar. Nothing in
the Mayan cosmology, however, speaks for the physical destruction
of the world, though there are references to days being thrown
off, somehow, by a cataclysm. Most quickly interpreted as an earthly
cataclysm, Betelgeuse’s explosion – or a similar event
in the sky – would have an identical effect. Indeed, such
stellar displays would be far more prominent on the ancient Mayans
mind when describing a catastrophe.
The Mayan ceremonies to do with the endings of these cycles of
time also involve the Nine Lords of the Underworld killing the
Thirteen Sky Lords. In Egyptian mythology, this balance of order
and chaos was specifically linked with Horus – Orion! But
now we learn – whether slowly or quickly – that the
hero – a word derived from the name Horus – is dying,
but will surely be born again, for that too is part of every creation
The Orion Nebula is a huge complex of gas and dust where massive
stars are forming; a stellar nursery – a perfect description
for a “hearth”, as described in the Mayan cosmology!
Though the Nebula and Betelgeuse are only visibly linked –
in reality they are hundreds of light years apart – isn’t
it a wonderful coincidence one of the greatest stellar nurseries
exists visually near one of the most famous dying stars –
and hence constellations?
Betelgeuse is the shoulder of the constellation Orion. When it
disappears, will we compose myths that relate how Orion was wounded
in the shoulder, or lost an arm in battle, no doubt in efforts
to conquer chaos? Will it, in short, become the material of myths,
just like similar events in the sky became part of ancient myths?
The latest scientific findings on the Nebula were taken by Igor
Chekalin, who participated in the Hidden Treasures 2010 astrophotography
competition, with this entry. Though the Nebula is visible with
the naked eye, when seen through powerful telescopes, the innate
beauty of the universe and this stellar nursery is simply overpowering.