Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Equinox 2018

The earth will pass through the point of March equinox, which is spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, today at 0915 Pacific, or 1215 Eastern, which is 1615 GMT / UTC.

I have made the above video in order to help us to visualize the sun's path through the zodiac throughout the year (which is a function of the changing line-of-sight between earth and sun as we orbit around the sun in our annual cycle), and also the sun's path higher and lower through the sky throughout the year (which is a function of the tilt of earth's axis, which causes the path of the sun through the sky to be higher or lower for us based on where we are in the orbit and the orientation of the axis relative to the sun).

The video gives a "time-lapse" style animation of the sun's position from the perspective of a viewer on earth in the northern hemisphere, seen at noon each day (to help illustrate the change in elevation of the sun's arc across the sky as we go through the seasons).

The background of stars (which is obviously not visible at noon under normal conditions) has been revealed using the planetarium app (stellarium.org) in order to show the sun's position relative to the zodiac constellations.

The sun's elevation will grow higher and higher after we pass winter solstice and progress towards summer solstice, where it reaches maximum elevation, and then it will stop getting higher and begin to get lower in the sky as we progress from summer solstice to winter solstice.

The point of equinox occurs twice a year when the sun's path crosses through the celestial equator, once on the way "down" from the summer solstice on the way to the winter solstice (when we pass the point of fall equinox) and then once again on the way back up from winter solstice towards summer solstice (the spring equinox, which we will pass through today).

This short video may help you to visualize what is taking place. In the video, you can see all the way down to the south celestial pole, because the earth has been rendered "transparent" or invisible, even though the perspective shown is still that of an observer in the northern hemisphere. The sun at noon each day will move through the constellations of the zodiac as earth progresses day-by-day throughout the year (moving through them at a rate of about one per month). This changing of the background constellation is a function of the "line-of-sight" between earth and sun changing as we make our orbital circle (ellipse) around the sun.

Numerous previous posts have used various diagrams and metaphors to explain the mechanics of the solstices and equinoxes -- you can find those by using the search function of this blog and looking for the words "equinox" and "solstice."

Also, my most recently-published book, Ancient Myths, Ancient Wisdom, which preserves in physical book format a selection of blog posts from the first one thousand posts of this blog, begins with a section of essays discussing celestial mechanics, and some of the connections of these heavenly cycles to the world's ancient myths.

The spring equinox is an extremely important point on the cycle of the earth's annual dance with the sun, incorporated into many memorable myths and sacred stories around the world, as well as into many of the alignments of ancient monuments which survive to this day.

It also marked the beginning of many (though not all) of the sacred calendars of ancient cultures.

For more on the spiritual significance with which this point on the annual cycle may have been invested or imbued by the world's ancient myths and teachings, see for example this previous post from 2015 entitled "Easter: the Birth-Day of the Gods" (after the title of a lecture by Alvin Boyd Kuhn).

I hope that you will have the opportunity to contemplate some of the meaning with which this day was perceived by our ancient ancestors (from virtually every culture on every inhabited continent and island on our planet). And in doing so, we connect ourselves to those who contemplated this day and that meaning in equinoxes past, stretching back through the millennia into the mists of prehistory.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

An invigorating meet-up with Greg Carlwood and friends

With Greg Carlwood (on the right when facing the picture) in San Diego, city lights of Encinitas in the background; 13 March 2018. 
Photograph by Mark Devlin.

Posting has been slow of late because I have been traveling all over California. 

This past week, while visiting San Diego, I had the opportunity to meet up with Greg Carlwood, creator of the outstanding podcast The Higherside Chats. I'd previously met Greg in my hometown of San Mateo, California some years ago while I was promoting my second book, The Undying Stars (2014), and Greg has been gracious enough to invite me over for a conversation on his show a couple times (see the podcast section of my website for those).

Of course, while doing all this traveling I had some time to catch up on recent podcasts, including episodes on The Higherside Chats as well as episodes from the Grimerica Show and others. I believe it is very important to tune in to independent media sources as much as possible, because it should now be patently obvious that the mass corporate media is blatently lying about certain critical events in order to control public opinion.

On one of the shows I listened to while traveling, Greg Carlwood of THC was interviewing John  W. Brisson of Fix Your Gut (dot com), and during the "plus" portion of the conversation, Greg and John delved into some very important subjects, including the co-optation and subversion of popular movements -- something which can be proven to have taken place in the past, through government programs exposed during the 1970s which deliberately targeted, subverted, and co-opted popular movements during the 1960s, including the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, the American Indian Movement, and many others. Please look up the history of COINTELPRO if you are unfamiliar with this important subject (and see for instance some of the links in this previous post).

During that "plus" portion of the show, Greg Carlwood made this very insightful observation, beginning at approximately 2:23:10 in the full interview timeline:
I don't see left-leaning conspiracy media all that often. I used to be -- I grew up liberal, so I used to really think about that when I was getting into this material. Why does it always take you to the right?
There is much more to that part of the exchange, but I would recommend listening for yourself (I do recommend supporting shows such as THC and others by subscribing or donating, and in order to listen to that portion of the John Brisson interview on THC you must be a "plus" subscriber, although there is a "free preview" offer which you can use in order to check out the benefits of THC+).

Even with just the very abbreviated quotation cited above, however, you can get the point that Greg is driving towards with his observation, and it is a significant point. Today, a very high percentage of information outlets (including podcasts) willing to examine the extensive evidence of organized illegal activity by entities able to effectively operate "above the law" (in other words, what are dismissively labeled as "conspiracy theories" using a term which was deliberately employed during the 1970s in order to attempt to marginalize the growing number of researchers in the united states who saw that the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others appeared to have been carried out by criminal elements able to operate "above the law" with impunity, and able to have the truth about those events completely covered up by the mainstream media for decades on end, continuing to this day) do so from a generally right-leaning perspective -- and especially from a libertarian or even anarchist perspective.

As Greg points out, this is extremely puzzling, especially (I would add) because it should be fairly obvious that the intended purpose (and outcome) of most of the so-called "conspiracies" of the past hundred years has been to move policy and public opinion towards what can be safely labeled "the right" -- including false-flag events such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident (used as an excuse to accelerate the massive deployment of united states military forces into Vietnam), or the numerous criminal bombings and other murders which were staged throughout Europe and blamed on socialists or communists during the 1970s and 1980s (see this video for example, among many others examining the incontrovertible evidence of this widespread and very deliberate campaign).

In fact, most of the events which have come to light over the past seventy years which clearly reveal the deliberate, long-term, calculating use of criminal and violent "conspiracy" on a massive scale -- such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the deliberate and illegal targeting of unsuspecting citizens by the military and by intelligence agencies in operations such as MK Ultra and its multitudinous spin-offs and related programs beginning in the early 1950s, the absolutely despicable war crimes perpetrated on a massive scale over a period of many years under Operation Phoenix in Vietnam and Laos and many other parts of the world, the use of certain parts of the military and of intelligence organizations to transport and sell narcotics worldwide in order to fund the violent suppression of popular uprisings against tyrannical client regimes in under-developed nations (which was exposed by the late investigative journalist Gary Webb in the "Dark Alliance" series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News), the Iran-Contra scandal which should have awakened the world to the scope of what was going on but which was somehow contained and obfuscated by the sham investigations in congress and by the complicity of the controlled media, the events of 11 September 2001 which were used to launch a series of illegal military actions which have led to the deaths of literally millions of people around the world and which have also been used as an excuse to implement levels of domestic surveillance and intrusion that would never have been tolerated in previous decades, and many more examples of the same connected pattern -- are very obviously the product of hard-right elements and not "the left."

Lest any object to the terms "left" and "right" as being deemed too compromised and too easily applied to so many different agendas that they have effectively lost their usefulness, I would argue that one could instead use the somewhat unwieldy (but more precise) term "neoliberalism" to describe the agenda supported by the violent and criminal conspiracies listed above, if we use the definition of neoliberalism provided by economist and professor emeritus Michael Hudson in his numerous books, including in his indispensable book J is for Junk Economics, in which he defines neoliberalism as a form of "grabitization" which seeks "to privatize public infrastructure"(168). In contrast to classical liberals of previous centuries, Professor Hudson explains, "today's neoliberals want to deregulate monopoly income and free markets for rent seeking" (167).

The somewhat harmless-sounding term "neoliberalism" is not harmless at all, however, in that it really translates into what Professor Hudson calls in another book a virulent form of parasitic "super-imperialism" which will ultimately destroy everything it touches -- and which has numerous methods for violently suppressing any resistance to its progress (for previous posts on this topic, see also here, here, here, here, here and here).

One reason why so many listeners to independent media sources such as The Higherside Chats have become convinced that the "left-right paradigm" is a ruse consisting of "two puppets on the same hand" is that political discourse in the united states (and I suspect many other western countries) has now devolved down to two barely-differentiated versions of neoliberalism. I would argue that this fact may explain the lack of what Greg Carlwood in the quotation cited above describes as "left-leaning conspiracy media" -- because both sides are basically espousing one form of neoliberalism or another (sometimes it is neoliberalism with identity politics thrown in, and sometimes not), and their media outlets are therefore in many cases beholden to the very same forces which are working to suppress opposition to neoliberal doctrine.

In fact, sources of analysis which many mistakenly believe to be "left-leaning" (and which should in theory be opposed to neoliberalism, neocolonialism, and neo-imperialism) including seemingly-progressive media outlets as well as the vast majority of academia have pointedly refused to address any of the "conspiracies" listed above with meaningful analysis. University professors who publicly challenge the consensus view of the events of September 11, 2001 (for example) are extremely rare, and those who do may lose their job, even if tenured (as happened to Professor James Tracy in January 2016, as discussed here). Supposedly "liberal" media outlets including National Public Radio [neoliberal public radio] or even Democracy Now! [democracy not-so-fast] likewise publish nothing that would get them fired if they were part of neoliberal academia.

Unfortunately, the (somewhat understandable) response by many in the "truth movement" to the predictable refusal of those in any of the two main neoliberal camps to address the obvious criminal activities which are designed to support the spread of crushing neoliberalism around the globe and to suppress (by violence if necessary) any opposition to neoliberal "grabitization" has been to embrace various forms of libertarianism, often extreme libertarianism or outright anarchism.

I believe that very often this retreat to libertarianism is well-intended -- in fact, I myself have in the past been sympathetic to such views (see several previous posts from years ago regarding the philosophy of Lysander Spooner, for example, whose arguments can probably be accurately described as anarchist in many respects).

However, as Professor Hudson explains in his numerous books and lectures, including in J is for Junk Economics, rejecting neoliberalism and replacing it with some form of libertarianism actually accelerates all the negative aspects of neoliberalism, which at its heart seeks to privatize that which properly belongs to the public (including things like water, natural resources, public infrastructure and other public assets), and which seeks to remove all obstacles to rent-seeking. Professor Hudson's J is for Junk Economics defines libertarianism as advocating:
deregulation to disable the public ability to tax and govern finance, real estate and other rent-seeking. The effect is to centralize planning in the hands of the financial sector -- Wall Street and its satellites in the City of London, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). The aim of libertarian planning is privatization, leading to economic polarization, oligarchy, debt peonage and neofeudalism.
What the libertarian (that is, financialization) argument leaves out of account is that taxing land rent and other unearned rentier income requires a strong enough government to rein in the vested interests. Opposing government has the effect of blocking such public power. Libertarianism thus serves as a handmaiden to oligarchy as opposed to democracy. 142.
In other words, we might say that "libertarianism (and its more extreme cousin, anarchism) is neoliberalism's poodle." If the majority of those who recognize the true extent of the institutionalized criminality that is going on outside of any mention by the controlled media, and outside of any accountability from the legislative and judicial branches of the government, can be safely herded into the dead-end sheep-pens of libertarianism and anarchism (which pose little or no threat to neoliberalism and super-imperialism), then the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity probably have little to fear.

As Michael Hudson explains in the definition above, the only thing strong enough to put a stop to such crimes is a government strong enough to do something about it (ideally, a truly democratic government which is entirely accountable to the people, from whom alone it derives its right to govern).

Fortunately, however, Greg Carlwood's observation above is not entirely correct, in that there is in fact a long tradition of exposing conspiracies which is opposed to neoliberalism and which can probably be safely described as left-leaning (unlike NPR, which came up in the above-quoted exchange on THC, and which is completely neoliberal in its perspective and which is not at all left-leaning in the true sense of the word).

For example, the late Mae Brussell was a fearless pioneer of this field of analysis and one of the first to regularly broadcast a weekly conspiracy analysis show (beginning with Dialogue: Conspiracy in 1971). Some of those shows can be heard online at this website, where you can also order discs containing her enormous body of work.

Likewise, researcher and radio broadcaster David Emory often collaborated with Mae Brussell during the 1970s and 1980s, and is still broadcasting regularly today, with a body of work spanning nearly 40 years. His entire archive of shows can be found online at this website.

Additionally, the website of Professor Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research (dot ca, because based in Canada), publishes a host of articles every day many of which are not afraid to investigate the evidence of conspiracy.

And there are others which the interested reader or researcher can find with a little looking.

I would strongly recommend donating to all of the above-named sites, if at all possible, in order to help support their research and help maintain their independence. All of them have a "donate" button on their home page which you can easily locate and use to make a contribution if you are moved to do so.

During the same above-mentioned visit with Greg Carlwood, I also had the opportunity to meet up with Mark Devlin, author of Musical Truth (2016) and the newly-released Musical Truth 2, and host of the Good Vibrations podcast as well as the Musical Truth blog here. Mark's area of research explores the evidence that the musical cultures of the 1960s and decades following have been shaped as part of a deliberate agenda, in ways which (in my opinion) clearly may fit in with some of the themes of the active and ongoing suppression of meaningful organized opposition to war, imperialism, and neoliberalism discussed in the other examples given above.

I believe we should all do what we can to support the work of those who are trying to expose the truth, including those who do research, those who host podcasts which can help that research reach a wider audience, those who make documentaries and videos, and others. This support includes telling others about them, and would ideally also include supporting with donations or subscriptions if at all possible.

Meeting up in person with others who are investigating these topics is also extremely important (and invigorating), and can help stimulate new insights and courses of action.

I am convinced that these subjects are of the utmost importance, and are perhaps more important now than ever, because so many possible turns in the road have already been missed.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saint Patrick's Day 2018

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

March 17 is traditionally the day ascribed to the legendary Saint Patrick, associated with the country of Ireland (where, according to the story, Patrick was taken by pirates as a child), and with driving all the snakes out of that island (as seen in many depictions of Saint Patrick, including that found on the greeting card from 1909, shown above).

However, as I explain in a video I posted last July, entitled "The Twelve Disciples of the Zodiac: Philip," there are very good reasons to conclude that -- even if a man named Patrick actually existed as an historical figure -- the story of his chasing the snakes out of Ireland, as well as much of the iconography associated with the figure of Saint Patrick (including his distinctive hand mudra which is seen in the iconography shown here, as well as his association with the three-lobed shamrock) are based on celestial associations which have nothing to do with literal, terrestrial history.

In fact, the very association of Saint Patrick with the point on the earth's orbit which we reach at this time of year, March 17, is almost certainly due to the association of this legendary saint with the constellation Sagittarius. If you make a habit of rising very early in the morning and looking at the glorious stars visible in the sky before the dawn each day, then you are probably already aware that the dazzling constellation of the Scorpion has been rising further and further above the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky for the past couple of months (preceded at this particular arrangement of the solar system planets by the planet Jupiter). 

Now, as we progress further towards the springtime in the northern hemisphere, the zodiac constellation of Sagittarius, which follows Scorpio in the sky, is becoming fully visible above the horizon in the pre-dawn hours:

Above is a star-chart showing the pre-dawn sky on March 17 from the point-of-view of an observer in the northern hemisphere at about latitude 35 north, looking towards the south such that east is to the left and west is to the right (so that the stars are rising from the left side of the image as we face it, and crossing the sky from left to right, where they will sink down into the western horizon). The color-scheme has been inverted for greater ease of visibility on a screen, and the outlines of some of the major constellations have been drawn in, using the essential constellation-outlining system published by author H. A. Rey in 1952.

Can you see the outline of the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer, clearing the horizon (which has been drawn-in using a heavy wiggly line for ease of identification)? The form of Sagittarius as envisioned in Rey's system includes a rather long "skirt" or dress-like garment, a large bow which points towards the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and to the sinuous form of the Scorpion just beyond the Galactic Core from Sagittarius, and a triangular head with a line rising up from it which can be envisioned as a "plume" or "feather," created by three stars rising in a bent line just above one corner of the constellation's head. 

As I explain in the video linked above, my research supported by overwhelming evidence strongly suggests that all of the world's ancient myths, scriptures, and sacred traditions employ a system of celestial metaphor in which specific characters and episodes can be shown to correspond to specific constellations in the heavens above, informed by the distinctive characteristics of those constellations. This common, world-wide system can be shown to form the basis for the stories in the Bible (in both the so-called "Old" and "New" Testaments), as well as the stories in the myths of virtually every culture on our planet.

The constellation Sagittarius appears in some of those ancient stories as a child who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, as in the story of Joseph in the text of the scroll of Genesis, as well as in the story of Saint Patrick of Ireland. As I demonstrate in my 2016 book Star Myths of the World Volume Three (Star Myths of the Bible), this is because the stars in the "bow" of Sagittarius can be envisioned as the hands of the figure of the constellation, crossed and bound, rather than as a bow. 

See for example the artwork below of Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers, by Damiano Mascagni from 1602, in which Joseph is depicted with many of the distinctive characteristics of the constellation Sagittarius (including crossed hands and a head turned to "look back" over the shoulder), and in which some of the other characters in the scene are clearly depicted with postures or hand mudras indicating other zodiac constellations, including the goat-horns of Capricorn in the hand just above Joseph's head, or the two hands holding the shirt-front or skirt-front between them (to receive coins from the purchase price) which are indicative of the two Fishes of Pisces with the Great Square of Pegasus in between them:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Many other examples could also be offered.

Turning again to the stars themselves, we can easily see how a figure associated with the constellation Sagittarius could be found in a story which involves driving out snakes, because the outline of Scorpio is often envisioned in myth as a serpent with multiple heads, or as a many-headed dragon of some sort (as well as playing the role of the "generation of vipers" referred to by Jesus in the New Testament gospel accounts, as discussed in a post about John the Baptist from 2014, here).

As the earth rotates on its axis towards the east, the stars we see appear to rotate towards the west, which is why Scorpio (located to the west of Sagittarius) appears to be "driven out" by Sagittarius as the earth turns throughout each night -- and why Scorpio will eventually sink out of sight into the western horizon before Sagittarius follows later on. 

In the star-chart below, which is identical to the one presented earlier, the figures of Sagittarius and Scorpio have been highlighted and labeled for ease of identification with the story of Saint Patrick:

Note that in the traditional iconography, Saint Patrick is typically depicted wearing a very long robe or cassock. I would even argue that the three-lobed shamrock associated with Saint Patrick may have a celestial correspondence to the bow of the constellation in the sky. Note that the bow is formed in the sky by three "prongs" which branch off of the outstretched arm of the constellation: one in the middle, one going upwards, and one going downwards. These may suggest that the constellation is holding a three-leaf shamrock:

The hand-gesture or "mudra" associated with Saint Patrick is also the same hand-gesture associated with Sagittarius-figures in other stories and myths, as I show in the video from last year. I believe that this particular Sagittarius-mudra comes from the stars which form the distinctive "plume" or "feather" which is visible protruding above the head of the constellation in the sky. You can see the same distinctive hand gesture in other depictions of Saint Patrick, such as those shown below:

images: Wikimedia commons. Left image link and right image link.

Lest anyone object that the outlining-system published by H. A. Rey in 1952 cannot possibly be used in order to analyze celestial connections in ancient myth, it should be pointed out that I have discovered countless examples in ancient art and in the ancient myths themselves which indicate that this ancient world-wide system used a system of envisioning the constellations which corresponds closely to that published by H. A. Rey, whether H. A. Rey was privy to some inherited knowledge passed down through the millennia or not (he himself never discussed this connection to the ancient myths and ancient artwork, to my knowledge). 

For example, in the artwork on the bell-krater from the early fifth century BC which constitutes the "name vase" of an artist from ancient Greece known to scholars as the "Pan Painter," the goddess Artemis is depicted slaying the unfortunate youth Actaeon, in outlines which clearly indicate that the ancients were using a very similar way of envisioning the constellation Sagittarius as the method shown in H. A. Rey's books:

Other myths from around the world which involve the figure of Sagittarius chasing away a monster associated with the figure of Scorpio include the god Apollo (the twin of the goddess Artemis) defeating the great dragon or serpent Python.

While literal interpretations of the ancient myths (particularly those contained in the texts we call "the Bible") have been used for centuries to divide humanity (and to excuse the forcible "conversion" of countless cultures to the acceptance of literalistic interpretations of the Bible, as well as the destruction of their own inherited sacred traditions), the overwhelming evidence shows that all the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories are built upon a common system of celestial metaphor. This fact should actually unite us, rather than dividing us -- and should instantly controvert any arguments of exceptionalism which are used to try to support or excuse such acts of imperialism, colonialism, and conquest.

I hope that on this March 17, 2018, you will have the opportunity to go out and marvel at the glorious constellations in the infinite night sky, if it is at all possible for you to do so. And, if you can, you may want to try rising early to enjoy the dazzling constellations now visible in the pre-dawn sky, and contemplate the cycles which are now bringing Sagittarius that eternal Archer into view, following the enormous figure of Scorpio, in accord with the endless rhythm of the universe.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

New video: The Pylos Combat Agate among the Infinite Realms

The Pylos Combat Agate brings an astonishing message from 3,500 years ago.

Above is a new video I've just made, entitled "The Pylos Combat Agate among the Infinite Realms," exploring the celestial correspondences in the incredible artwork on this recently-revealed treasure from humanity's ancient past -- as well as discussing their possible significance.

I hope you will enjoy this video, which delves into the discovery of this amazing gem, and the long-forgotten tomb of the Griffin Warrior in which the Pylos Agate lay, accumulating grime and mineral deposits, for over thirty-five centuries.

Previous discussions of this extremely significant archaeological find include:
Additionally, articles I've written about this extraordinary new discovery have been published at Ancient Origins, here: "Is this Minoan artistic marvel a miniaturization of the heavens?"

I hope you will enjoy this brand-new video regarding the celestial connections, and profound significance, of the Pylos Agate. After making the video, I realized that video may be the preferred medium for exploring some of the staggering connections between this ancient masterpiece and the infinite realm of the heavens, and the significance of these connections for our understanding of our  own ancient history, and our understanding of the simultaneously spiritual and material world through which we are all traveling in this incarnate life.


Friday, March 2, 2018

The answer of Clearchus

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

In January of 2014, I published an essay on this blog entitled "The Warriors and the Ten Thousand."

That essay discusses the conscious parallels between the plot line of the classic 1979 film The Warriors and the ancient account of the "Persian Expedition" in the Anabasis of Xenophon (born around 430 BC).

According to Xenophon's account, a contingent of ten thousand Greek warriors who had ventured into the heart of the Persian empire in support of the Persian prince Cyrus (son of the previous King of Persia, Darius II, who died in 404 BC) against the new King of Persia, Artaxerxes II (Cyrus's elder brother) found themselves in a very tight spot when Cyrus was killed in the battle of Cunaxa (in 401 BC), near the place where the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers flow closest together (before eventually joining one another further south towards the Persian Gulf).

Although the Greek warriors (who had been positioned at the rightmost flank of the army of Cyrus) had decisively defeated the forces of the king (whose army was far larger than that of Cyrus) positioned on the far left edge of the king's own army, the death of Cyrus by a javelin wound to the head effectively ended the resistance against the accession of Artaxerxes.

With Cyrus dead, the Greeks were completely isolated and vastly outnumbered. When the king sent his heralds to speak to the Greek leaders, the heralds were accompanied by a Greek named Phalinus, who was in the service of the Persians. Xenophon explains:
These heralds rode up and asked to speak to the Greek commanders. They said that the King, since he had won the victory and killed Cyrus, commanded the Greeks to surrender their arms, to make an appearance at the Court, and to get for themselves, if they could, the royal favour. [Rex Warner translation, originally published in 1949; page 104]. 
Xenophon then explains the reaction of the Greeks to this demand, including that of their leader, Clearchus (who was later killed, after which Xenophon himself became the leader of the ten thousand).  Clearchus, being busy consulting the gods, tells the other Greek war chiefs to give their reply, and he will get back to see how it is going after he has finished his more important business. Xenophon relates the scene, just after the heralds (including Phalinus) have issued their order to surrender their weapons:
This was what the King's heralds said, and the Greeks were indignant when they heard it. Clearchus, however, said: 'It is not for the conquerors to surrender their arms. But,' he went on, 'you other generals must make what seems to you the best and most honourable reply to these men. I shall soon be back again.' This was because one of his officers had called him to inspect the entrails which had been taken out from the victim, as he happened to be in the middle of a sacrificial ceremony. 104.
As Xenophon's account makes clear, the Greeks found such a demand most inappropriate and insulting. The first of the Greeks to reply, Cleanor the Arcadian, the eldest of all those present, told the Persians (and their accomplice, Phalinus), "that they would die before they surrendered their arms" (104).

Phalinus replied that resistance to the king's demands would be futile, as Artaxerxes "can bring against you such masses of men that you could never kill them all, even if he gave you the chance of doing so" (105).

To this, an Athenian identified as Theopompus gives an admirable reply:
As you see, Phalinus, the only things of value which we have at present are our arms and our courage. So long as we keep our arms we fancy that we can make good use of our courage; but if we surrender our arms we shall lose our lives as well. So do not imagine that we are going to surrender to you our only valuables. On the contrary, with their aid we shall fight for what you value too.
Xenophon relates that:
Phalinus smiled when he heard this, and said: 'Quite like a philosopher, young man, and remarkably well expressed! All the same let me inform you that you are crazy if you think that your courage can get the better of the King's power.' 105.
Finally, Clearchus returns and asks if Phalinus has received an answer, and Phalinus says he has received a variety of answers, and would like to hear what Clearchus has to say. Clearchus tells Phalinus he is glad to be speaking to a fellow Greek, and asked Phalinus to give his advice, since (as Clearchus tells him), future generations will judge whether the recommendation of Phalinus was honorable or not.

Returning to his theme that resisting the king's orders would be futile, Phalinus replies:
My advice is not to surrender your arms, if you have one chance in ten thousand of saving yourselves by fighting against the King. But if there is not a single chance of safety in going against the King, then I advise you to take the only steps you can to save yourselves. 106.
Then Clearchus gives his answer to these threats:
Well, then, so much for your advice. Now you can take back our answer, which is that we consider that, if it is a case of becoming friends with the King, we shall be more valuable friends if we retain our arms than if we surrender them to someone else; and if it is a case of fighting, we shall fight better if we retain our arms than if they are in someone else's possession.
Thus the response of a warrior of the ancient Greeks, who believed in living with dignity and freedom, and who trusted in the gods to give victory, even when faced with seemingly overwhelming odds. As Xenophon himself says later in the story, during an assembly in which the Greeks are debating what course of action to take next:
You are well aware that it is not numbers or strength that bring the victories in war. No, it is when one side goes against the enemy with the gods' gift of a stronger morale that their adversaries, as a rule, cannot withstand them. I have noticed this point, too, my friends, that in soldiering the people whose one aim is to keep alive usually find a wretched and dishonourable death, while the people who, realizing that death is the common lot of all men, make it their endeavour to die with honour, somehow seem more often to reach old age and to have a happier life when they are alive. 146.
At this time, more than four years after my original post on the Ten Thousand, any mention of sentiments such as those expressed by Clearchus, Theopompus, and Xenophon will doubtless be tremendously unpopular with huge numbers of people, especially in light of the very well-coordinated and emotionally-charged campaign which appeared almost immediately following the news of the despicable criminal murder of students at a Florida high school on Valentine's Day this year. 

This kind of automatic response is completely understandable -- especially because the vast majority of people (against overwhelming evidence) believe the completely untenable stories given to them by the "news media" about critical events such as the murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the thousands of innocent victims killed on September 11, 2001 -- as well as uncritically believing the propaganda about the illegal wars launched by the government of the united states following September 11, 2001 which together have resulted in literally millions of additional deaths since then.

The vast majority of people, who simply cannot take the rather drastic mental step of admitting that the so-called "news media" might be blatantly lying to them in certain critical instances, also continue to believe the mainstream narrative of other extremely suspicious, traumatic, criminal, and emotionally-charged recent events such as Sandy Hook / Newtown (December 2012), the Boston Marathon (April 2013), Orlando / Pulse (June 2016), Charlottesville (August 2017), and Las Vegas / Mandalay Bay (October 2017) -- among many others.

Abundant and compelling evidence compiled by numerous researchers make a very strong case that each one of the events listed above was carried out in a manner which is completely different from the narrative which is incessantly repeated in the news media and drummed into the popular consciousness, and accepted almost by default by those who refuse to believe that the media could be lying to them or covering up critical information in order to paint a false picture of reality. 

I myself have presented just a few pieces of evidence regarding serious problems with the official narrative of a few of the most-recent of the above-listed incidents, in a video here and a follow-up blog post here. Some of the evidence provided in that video is absolutely conclusive in demonstrating that something much more is going on in each of these incidents than what the captive news media is telling the public to believe.

Other researchers have published even more evidence which strongly suggests that the public is being lied to about these and other recent headline-grabbing, emotionally-charged, traumatic events. See for example this simple list of violent, traumatic, emotional incidents of the past several years which have taken place on or immediately after planned training drills at the same or nearby site for a nearly identical incident -- compiled back in 2015 by researcher Jon Rappoport. Or this 2015 interview about the analysis and research conducted by the tireless Ole Dammegard into similarly suspicious evidence.

Indeed, in the past several days, numerous independent media outlets have had their accounts suspended or even completely terminated by YouTube and other important social media outlets, over videos which contained discussion of some of the evidence that some of the recent traumatic events listed above might have much more to the story than the public is being led to believe. For example, below is an image from a tweet posted by independent podcast host Greg Carlwood of The Higherside Chats, regarding a "strike" against his account issued by YouTube, over an interview with a guest pointing out numerous inconsistencies with the official narrative of the Newtown / Sandy Hook events of December 2012:

As Greg pointed out when he published the above image in a tweet, it's very suspicious that this interview suddenly resulted in a "strike" against his account, given that (in Greg's words) "it's such an old ep, & not even the most damning Sandy Hook one" -- unless there is a concerted effort in the aftermath of the most recent traumatic event to chill discussion of the abundant evidence which suggests that the official narrative of other recent traumatic events might be built on deception.

As anyone who is familiar with Greg Carlwood and his show can attest (and I have not only met him in person but also appeared on his show more than once), he and his podcast cannot possibly be accused of being "a platform for things like predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, bullying, or intimidation," all of which are listed in the warning above from YouTube.

The fact that his podcast is being cautioned by YouTube (in a message which threatens that the next such caution will result in temporary suspension of his ability to post more videos, and a third one will result in permanent termination of his account) regarding an old interview questioning an event which is used as one of the central supports for the same anti-firearm agenda that is currently flooding the mainstream media (as well as most of the big social media outlets) suggests that there might be something in those events which will not stand up to scrutiny, and which fears open discussion and critical analysis by media platforms (including popular podcasts) which are outside of the control which is obviously being exercised over the so-called mainstream news.

I personally am not a supporter of "the right," the republican party, libertarianism, or the forces of reaction most commonly associated with opposition to gun control and disarmament.

However, if some of the most traumatic and emotionally-charged violent incidents of the past several years (such as those events listed above, as well as others) have actually been perpetrated by forces completely different from those who have been blamed for them, and with tactics and methodologies completely different from what we are being told took place, then it is entirely possible that the knee-jerk reaction to these criminal events (and supported by a well-coordinated media blitz) is entirely misguided.

If there are serious efforts to chill discussion of these events outside of the official narrative, and to suppress critical analysis of evidence which contradicts the official narrative, then people who have never wanted to believe that the news media might be lying to them should start to wake up to the very real possibility that such lying is indeed going on, motivated by a specific agenda.

I continue to believe that the answer of Clearchus to the heralds of Artaxerxes II contains valuable lessons for us today. His message declared that if the king's intentions were truly friendly, he had nothing to fear from the Greeks and their weapons, and that they would be better friends to him if they retained their arms than if they gave them up. But, if the king's intentions were treacherous, which they indeed turned out to be, then the Greeks would have been foolish to surrender their arms.

It should also be pointed out that the collaborator Phalinus, who was acting on behalf of Artaxerxes, kept saying that the weapons of the Greeks were useless anyway, against the overwhelming force of the King of Persia. However, the fact that the king was so anxious that the Greeks give up their arms reveals that this argument is a lie -- and the calm confidence of Clearchus and the other Greeks in the face of the threats delivered by Phalinus shows that, as the Greeks believed, it is not numbers or strength which bring victory, but rather the gods' gift of morale, which derives from pursuing the honorable course rather than the seemingly expedient or even popular course.

The fact that even the act of repeating the words of Clearchus, and those of Theopompus and Xenophon quoted above, might be seen as heretical or immoral or insensitive or benighted by large portions of the population today (and certainly a majority of the voices on social media over the past two weeks) in nations supposedly descended from the freedom-loving civilization of ancient Greece, and supposedly devoted to many of their ideals and principles, and supposedly practicing forms of democratic governance inspired by some of their models, shows just how precarious our present situation has become, and how effective the propaganda outlets of the modern controlled media now prove themselves to be at drowning out independent thinking, critical analysis, and dissenting viewpoints.

It may be that the ghosts of the ancient Greeks are watching us now, and wondering what the fate of the heritage which they left to us will be.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Thursday, February 22, 2018

DaMo among the celestial realms

In honor of Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in China and in surrounding cultures in Asia, I have created a new video examining the traditions and ancient stories regarding the important figure of Bodhidharma, known as DaMo in China, and as Daruma in Japan.

The video is called "DaMo among the celestial realms," and it explores some of the evidence that the story of DaMo -- like so many other ancient myths and sacred traditions from around the globe -- is based upon celestial metaphor and embodies the distinctive characteristics of specific constellations.

DaMo, or Bodhidharma, is credited with bringing Ch'an Buddhism to China, which became Zen Buddhism in Japan, and Seong Buddhism in Korea. His travels and adventures are described in texts dating back to at least the first half of what we call the sixth century AD (or CE) -- that is, the first half of the 500s AD. He is notable for his practice of extended meditation, sometimes for years on end. He is also notable for being credited with introducing a series of meditative movements to the monks he encountered at the Shaolin Temple -- meditative movements which became the basis for the famed martial arts of China and surrounding cultures.

Celestial aspects of the DaMo story -- especially his famous interaction with the learned monk Shen Guang (whose name DaMo later changes to Dazu Huike) -- are also discussed in my 2015 book Star Myths of the World, and how to interpret them: Volume One. As this new video shows, there are good reasons to conclude that Shen Guang corresponds to the figure of Hercules in the heavens.

Below is an image of DaMo and Shen Guang (Dazu Huike) found in a temple in Goseong, in the southeastern corner of the Korean peninsula. Note the startling correspondences between the depiction of Dazu Huike by the artist in this temple painting and the outline of the constellation Hercules as suggested by H. A. Rey -- a constellation who plays a role in countless myths around the world. The parallels are striking.

Special thanks to Dale Quarrington, whose website Dale's Korean Temple Adventures contains this image, and who gave me permission to use it in the new video. Dale's website discussing the beautiful temples of Korea and displaying numerous excellent and evocative photographs which Dale has taken in his visits to various temples is well worth exploring at length.

The above image can be found on this page of Dale's website.

Previous posts discussing artwork of mythical figures who can be shown to have likely connections to the constellation Hercules in the night sky include:

Chinese New Year is traditionally observed from the start of the first lunar month (typically beginning on the day after the second New Moon following the winter solstice, although the calculation is a little more complicated than that) until the first Full Moon of that same first lunar month. The second New Moon after winter solstice this year took place on February 15, which is why the Lunar New Year began on February 16.

The first Full Moon of that new-year lunar month is associated with the ancient tradition of the Lantern Festival. This previous post discusses the Lantern Festival and some of the ancient sacred stories surrounding the Lantern Festival, stories which can also be seen to be connected to the constellations in the night sky.

I hope you will enjoy this new video about the celestial foundations of the DaMo story -- and, Happy New Year!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

New article on the Pylos Combat Agate available at Graham Hancock's website

Special thank-you to Graham Hancock and his team for publishing this new and expanded version of the analysis of the celestial artwork found in the recently-discovered Pylos Combat Agate: "The Dust of Centuries: Celestial Iconography in the Pylos Combat Agate."

This article from the Smithsonian Magazine dated January 2017 describes the discovery of the shaft-grave of a Mycenaean warrior in an olive grove near the ancient acropolis of Pylos, on the western coastline of the Peloponnese. Readers familiar with the Odyssey may remember the journey of Telemachos to "sandy Pylos" to seek counsel from Nestor and his family regarding the fate of Odysseus, the father of Telemachos.

By the time that Smithsonian article was published, in January of last year, the significance of the archaeological find was already being discussed -- but at that time, the most amazing artifact from the newly-discovered tomb had yet to be revealed, because it was still encrusted in limestone deposits after resting beneath the earth's surface for some 3,500 years. 

This article from News.com of Australia shows the gemstone covered in the hardened deposits, and after meticulous cleaning several months later, showing the incredibly detailed and artistically sophisticated scene carved into the surface of the agate. That article also contains a diagram of the tomb, showing the position of some of the artifacts -- and the remains of the grave's occupant -- at the bottom of the shaft-grave.

When the first photographs of the Pylos Combat Agate were published in early November of last year, I immediately recognized celestial correspondences in the artwork of the scene -- patterns which can be found in other artwork from around the world tying the subjects to specific constellations in the night sky (special thanks to the Twitter correspondent who initially sent me a link to the first images of the Pylos Combat Agate, as soon as those were published). This newly-discovered gemstone from the Minoan culture only serves to provide still more evidence to what I believe to be an overwhelming and indeed undeniable body of evidence in ancient artwork, ancient myths, and ancient scriptures proving the existence of an astonishing system of celestial metaphor which appears to have been worldwide in scope -- and of tremendous antiquity.

The Pylos Agate should completely upend the conventional understanding of artistic (and technical) capabilities in early antiquity -- and the celestial foundation of the Pylos Agate's artwork, which ties it to mythical episodes as widely dispersed as the Judgment of Solomon in the Hebrew Scriptures and the rescue of baby Maui from the foam of the sea by his ancestor Tama in the sacred traditions of the cultures of the vast Pacific Ocean, should completely upend the conventional understanding of humanity's ancient past, and show that the accepted narrative of early history is gravely flawed.

The diagrams and discussion in my new article at grahamhancock.com should demonstrate that the scene on the Pylos Agate corresponds to specific constellations in the heavens -- constellations which can still be observed in the sky tonight. They also demonstrate the connection of some of the patterns observed in the Pylos Agate to patterns found in other myths and other artwork from other cultures and other centuries.

Above is one of the diagrams from the article, showing one of the intriguing features included by the ancient artist -- the scabbard with a globular bulb at the tip, which I believe indicates the location of the bright star Vega in relation to the constellation Hercules (who corresponds to the triumphant Swordsman in the Pylos Agate, shaded in red in the top portion of the diagram above).

Previous discussions of this exquisitely carved gemstone, and its importance can be found here and here.

I hope this new article, and its publication on Graham's website, will help increase the awareness of the historic Pylos Combat Agate, and the important clues it offers to the secrets of our ancient past.

Friday, February 9, 2018

"All this has happened before": Professor Michael Hudson on neoliberalism, neo-feudalism, and the deliberate suppression of history

Above is a remarkable interview recorded back in February of 2014 with economist Michael Hudson, in which Professor Hudson explains that neoliberalism should really be understood as neo-feudalism, as he explicitly says at 16:30 in the conversation.

For an extended discussion and definition of neoliberalism, see this previous post entitled "Earth Day, 2017: the choices of Midas and Solomon."

Professor Hudson goes on to explain that neoliberalism seeks to weaken the power of representative governments -- and even to break them up -- in order to enable the privatization and exploitation of the public domain: the riches of the soil, the mineral wealth beneath the ground, the timberlands and forests, the seaports, the waterways and rivers, and all the other "gifts of nature" (or gifts of the gods). He says:
And that's what neoliberalism is: it's really neo-feudalism. It's a dismantling of democracy. It's a dismantling of democracy in favor of a financial oligarchy [this segment can be found beginning at 16:30].
Earlier in the interview, he explained that one of the goals of neoliberalism is the privatization of that which should actually be public:
And stage two is when the governments have to pay by selling off the public domain: the land, the natural resources, the forests, the ports, the electrical systems, the natural monopolies, and the infrastructure -- the roads and the bridges -- and the economy's turned into a tollbooth economy, and  so you're going very rapidly back to feudalism. And that's where Ireland is going: it's going back to the fourteenth century, quickly [this segment can be found beginning at 14:25].
The privatization of that which belongs to the public, in order to erect "tollbooths" on it, characterized the feudalism of the Middle Ages in western Europe -- a period of time which resulted from the overthrow of the ancient world following the rise of literalist Christianity, which captured the control centers of the Roman Empire with the accession of the Emperor Constantine in AD 313, and which shut down the Oracle at Delphi and the Eleusinian Mysteries during the reign Theodosius, who came to the throne about forty-two years after Constantine's death.

During the Middle Ages which followed, that which should really have been understood to be the gifts of the gods was divvied up for the benefit of the descendants of those who had replaced the ancient wisdom with the new literalistic faith (and who used that faith as justification for their seizure of what the ancient wisdom describes as belonging to the gods).

That's why Michael Hudson's framing of very modern problems -- subjects that are as fresh as this morning's news -- in the context of a much longer and deeper history, and his repeated references to the Middle Ages, are so important. As he says at 27:47 (towards the end of the interview): "All this has happened before."

However, as Professor Hudson also explains in this insightful interview, it is much more difficult to perceive what is going on if you've never been taught history -- and as he explains beginning at about the 7:00 mark in the interview and going until about the 9:24 mark (with further discussion beginning at about the 17:00 mark and 24:00 mark), the control of the narrative of the history of economic thought, and even of the narrative of history itself, can prevent the vast majority of people from even developing the perspective necessary to see what is going on or to even think about alternatives.

In other words, Professor Hudson argues, history is being actively suppressed and replaced with disinformation instead, with a very clear motive.

I would argue that we can find abundant evidence to conclude that this very same kind of suppression of history and deliberate propagation of disinformation is going on with respect to many aspects of humanity's ancient past as well.

I recommend listening to the above interview in its entirety, and carefully contemplating its implications. The interview's contents are all the more powerful when you realize that it was recorded in February of 2014 -- events that have taken place since then have confirmed many of the assessments and predictions that Professor Hudson provides in his responses.

You can download the file to take with you on a mobile device by right-clicking (or control-clicking) on this link and selecting "Download linked file as" (and then selecting a place on your device to save the file). You can also download the file by clicking on the small downward-pointing arrow in the embedded player at the top of this post.

Previous posts dealing with this same subject include:

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Step onward, John Anthony West

I was deeply saddened to learn today that John Anthony West has crossed from this mortal plane.

My thoughts are with his son Zeke and daughter Zoe and with the rest of his family and closest circle.

An eloquent tribute from Graham Hancock can be found here.

Readers of this blog and of my various books know that I hold the work of John West in the highest regard. His inspired analysis and tenacious pursuit of the evidence which shows that the conventional paradigm of ancient history is gravely flawed, and his exploration of the profound implications of that conclusion, almost singlehandedly (along with his friend and colleague, geologist and researcher Robert Schoch) initiated an entirely new line of inquiry into the forgotten wisdom of the ancient world -- and exposed the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the attempts by the mainstream "quackademics" (his term) to suppress, ignore, or otherwise obscure that evidence and its implications.

His book Serpent in the Sky continues to be a deep well of wisdom and insight to which one can (and should) return again and again.

His writing, speaking, and research inspired the transformative generation of researchers that includes Graham Hancock, Robert Schoch, Walter Cruttenden, Laird Scranton, and many others -- and the  researchers from successive generations which continue to arise as each new decade unfolds. 

A partial list of my own previous posts which have acknowledged his influence on my own thinking and which have drawn upon his writing and work would include:
John West was a brilliant interpreter of the world's ancient wisdom, particularly that embodied in the art and scriptures of ancient Egypt. He described his approach as being of the Symbolist school, which I interpret as a way of saying that he was opposed to attempts to force a literalistic interpretation upon the writings and iconography of the ancients, instead perceiving that the practitioners of the world's ancient high wisdom expressed profound truths through inspired symbols. Not only did the ancients employ sophisticated and incredibly subtle metaphorical symbol, but (as John West also perceived and explained) they knew how to manifest shape and space and proportion and alignment and number to create effects in the realm of vibration in ways that have largely been forgotten today.

His video series Magical Egypt delves into this symbolism and ancient wisdom, and is well worth watching in its entirety if you have the opportunity to do so. Even if you have already seen it, now would seem to be a fitting time to take the opportunity to watch it again, and contemplate the massive scope of John Anthony West's gift to humanity and to the task of recovering from what he described as our collective amnesia about our own past.

Graham Hancock's powerful tribute to his friend and colleague, linked above, movingly cites the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. 

Alvin Boyd Kuhn argued (very convincingly, in my opinion) that when this ancient Egyptian text describes "the Dead," it is actually describing this incarnate life, and our condition here as souls who are passing through the "underworld" of the material realm and incarnation in a human body. 

In an amazing passage in Lost Light, published in 1940, Alvin Boyd Kuhn suggests that the descriptions of the divine Horus in the Book of the Dead should not be understood as referring to any individual historical personage but rather to that divine nature which comes down and manifests itself in seemingly mortal men and women, over and over, throughout the ages. Kuhn writes:
To the sages of old time the coming was a constantly recurring and only typical [that is, "purely symbolic"] event. [ . . . ] Horus, a form of Iu-em-hetep, was not an individual historical person. For he says, "I am Horus, the Prince of Eternity." [ . . . ] Horus calls himself "the persistent traveler on the highways of heaven," and "the everlasting one." "I am Horus who steppeth onward through eternity." Here is wisdom to nourish the mind and lead it out of its infantile stage and into maturity of view. Horus declares himself forever above the character of a time-bound personage. Let moderns ponder his other mighty pronouncement: "I am a soul, and my soul is divine. It is the self-originating force." It can perpetually renew itself [ . . . ]." 546 - 547.
I am convinced that John Anthony West understood the most sacred texts of ancient Egypt, and their teaching on the eternal path of the divine and undying soul, which itself is "the persistent traveler on the highways of heaven."  

I am convinced that because of his deep study and his penetrating insight, he knows how to navigate those highways. Not only that, but he strove mightily within this life to share what he knew and to pass it on to others in every way and through every medium that he could.

Those of us who have been touched and inspired by his life and work can join together in saying to him, "Go in peace, John, stepping onward through eternity."