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A visit to Grimerica

A visit to Grimerica

Big thank you to Grimericans Graham Dunlop and Darren Grimes for inviting me over to "The Igloo" to discuss ancient myth, celestial mechanics, world mysteries, and the shamanic-holographic nature of the universe and human existence (here's a link to the page where you can listen or download -- the guys are doing great work there so please support their "value-for-value" model if and when you are able to do so -- and tell a friend about it).

Welcome to new visitors from the unique land of Grimerica, as well as to all returning friends here to this blog -- really hope you enjoy the conversation Darren and Graham had with me as much as I did.

Below are a series of links to help you find your way to places with more info about some of the subjects we touched on in our chat -- and below that I've added a few more thoughts about the show:

  • Star Myth Index: start here! a list of links to over fifty previous blog posts discussing the evidence for the celestial foundations of different myths from around the world -- including the stories in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
  • "Wax on, wax off" -- how the original Karate Kid movie can help explain why the ancient myths would be constructed according to this system of celestial allegory.
  • "Like a finger, pointing a way to the moon . . . " another discussion of the idea of "the esoteric," this time using a scene from Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.
  • Shamanic Holographic: discussion of some evidence that part of the message these ancient myths were intended to convey to us was that our universe -- and human experience in this incarnate material existence -- is both holographic and shamanic in nature. And, here is discussion of the direct quotation from the very important Lakota holy man Black Elk who said that it is the spirit world "behind this one" that is the real world, and that actually is the source of this one.
  • Shamanic foundation of the world's ancient wisdom: connecting the message of the world's ancient myths to the worldview that is broadly termed "shamanic" in nature, and how this worldview connects to other concepts including journeys to the unseen world.
  • The Old Man and his Daughter: this is the story from a First Nations people living on what is today called Vancouver Island which can be very clearly shown to connect to the outlines of the constellations Virgo and Bootes -- which is an example of the fact that, even if different people around the world group the stars into different constellations, it is also true that they may have myths which very clearly relate to the constellations as they are "grouped" in the system we still use today, and which suggests that there was some kind of worldwide system operating in the ancient past.
  • How many ways are there to contact the hidden realm: evidence from around the world that we may be naturally designed to be able to access the invisible realm (also known by many other names, a useful one being "non-ordinary reality") and that there are almost unlimited ways to actually do it.
  • Mushrooms: a couple posts discussing their importance, and their connection to myth and to the ancient wisdom -- see also "Buddha, Odin, Mushrooms" and "Graham Hancock identifies war on consciousness: TED confirms that he's right." 
  • The Chinese ideogram for "boat" which is composed of the symbols for "vessel," for the number "eight," and for "mouths" (or passengers): eight passengers on a vessel = a boat. This is a link to the website of (and online book by) Dr. Walt Brown, the originator of the hydroplate theory which discusses the overwhelming evidence that our planet has experienced a catastrophic flood in its past.
  • The Eleusinian mysteries: what they were, and why they were so important. And, related to that, the priestess at the Temple at Delphi, who was known as the Pythia, and why she and Delphi are so important (see also the opinion of Plato and Socrates on Delphi). 
  • The Roman emperor who shut down both Eleusis and Delphi, and how he may well be an important clue in the mystery of what happened to this ancient wisdom in a certain part of the world, and how the suppression of the ancient wisdom became official policy in what Graham Hancock and others have described as "the war on consciousness." 
  • The Princess Bride: I almost forgot that we briefly alluded to the beloved Princess Bride film during the show! Here is a link to a discussion of the near-death experience that takes place in the movie (he's only "mostly dead"). This post actually connects to the concept of the "ideology of materialism" which seeks to suppress and marginalize all the evidence pointing to the existence of the non-ordinary realm, including NDEs, other types of out-of-body experiences, shamanic journeying, and even accounts of ghosts and apparitions.
  • Celestial foundations of the Samson story: during the show, we discuss just how important the Samson story was in my own personal journey of discovering that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible were not intended to be understood literally. Also, here's an amateur video I made that discusses some of the celestial aspects of the Samson story, for those who are interested.
  • Celestial foundations of the Odyssey: also mentioned during the show, right at the beginning.
  • Celestial foundations of the Three Kings and Star episode: this is one of the examples Graham wanted to discuss for connections to the motions in the celestial realms. In addition to the discussion linked here, I also made a video discussing the celestial aspects of this well-known Christmas story (the video also discusses the celestial origins of the Adam and Eve story).
  • Celestial aspects of the Epiphany and related traditions: this came up once during our talk, in reference to the fact that this interview was actually recorded on January 06, 2015.
  • Precession = The Key: here's an old video that I made to try to illustrate the concepts of the solstices and equinoxes, the sun's progress through the zodiac throughout the year (which is really caused by the earth's progress), the concept of precession, and how important all of this is to the ancient myths.
  • One degree in 72 years: what that actually means, when people tell you that precession delays the background stars by one degree every seventy-two years (actually it appears to be closer to 71.6 years, but for encoding precession in myth, 72 is much nicer than 71.6). Seventy-two is an important precessional number -- for more on the concept of precessional numbers, see this postthis post,this post, and this post.
  • The "earth-ship metaphor" and the solstices and equinoxes: a post from way back in 2011, which describes the earth as an old sailing ship that is always "pointed in the same direction," even as it circles the sun. Also mentioned in the interview is how the solstice "pause" is kind of like the pause at the top that you see when a surfer is carving down and then back up a wave and then back down: I didn't fully explain what I was trying to say, so here is a post that shows the "surfing" concept and talks about it.
  • Cross-quarter days: those important stations on the solar year located in between the solstices and equinoxes, which are still recognized in celebrations such as Ground Hog Day and most importantly in Halloween and All Soul's Day. Here's another discussion of the importance of cross-quarter days.
  • Leap year: the guys wanted to spend a little time kicking around the concept of leap years -- crazy!
  • Great circles, ancient sites: links to amazing research done by Jim Alison showing that ancient sites around the world are positioned on great circles, which indicates extremely sophisticated ancient knowledge of the size and shape of our spherical earth.
  • Easter Island and currents from the coasts of Canada and South America: why there may be a connection between the place that is today called Canada and the place that is today called Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui -- and the people of Rapa Nui also called it Te-Pito-o-te-Henua or "the Navel of the World"). This post discusses some of the arguments of Thor Heyerdahl, which have largely been rejected by conventional academia but which continue to receive additional support as more evidence comes to light.
  • How the original 1968 Planet of the Apes film demonstrates the importance of ancient history: at least one of the orangutans in that film clearly knew that ancient history was very different than the story the orangutans were putting out to their society -- and how suppressing the truth of ancient history can be a tool for controlling and suppressing others. Here is another discussion of the importance of that 1968 Planet of the Apes film, and yet another.
  • How the violent and criminal genocide inflicted on the peoples of the Americas may be connected to the suppression of ancient history -- and the suppression of the esoteric shamanic and holographic message of the ancient myths and sacred stories -- which has been going on since at least the fourth century AD. See also this post and this post.
  • Additional posts discussing the massacre at Wounded Knee, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the murder of Tatanka Iyotanke -- Sitting Bull.
  • The celestial foundations of the story of Noah and his three sons: we discussed this story a little bit on the show as well -- I think this one is so important on so many levels.
  • Answers from the land of dreams: how the celestial connections of the story of the three sons of Noah literally "came to me" overnight, without any real effort. Written before I ever heard the Grimerica show with Robert Waggoner, which is an excellent show and very thought-provoking (also seems to fit very well with the shamanic-holographic model of the universe and human experience, which I believe the ancients were trying to convey to us in the celestial system of myth).

During the show, we also briefly mentioned the work of Robert W. Sullivan IV in uncovering the esoteric symbolism present in many Hollywood movies, and I'd like to just state for the record how important I think this kind of research and analysis is, in case I didn't make that clear in the interview. Robert Sullivan demonstrates some terrific connections in his most-recent Grimerica interview -- I especially enjoyed the connection he makes between the name of Luke Skywalker of Star Wars and the sun itself, which is a "Sky Walker" and which gives us lux, or light!

Finally, I also want to say that I personally think that Graham and Darren work really well together in their interviews, and come up with a well-coordinated crossfire of laser-quality questions, each from his own perspective. Everyone should be listening to these podcasts!

One of the most significant and singular aspects of the show is the focus Darren and Graham give to synchronicities, which they have made something of a trademark specialty of Grimerica. The fact that they often discuss synchronicities with their guests has led to the important revelation that many of the visiting researchers, authors, or inventors on their show seem to have been "propelled" or at least assisted in the direction they ended up pursuing by unexpected synchronicities of some sort. 

This is a very important and significant observation, and Graham and Darren deserve credit for bringing it to the forefront and making it a subject of examination. I suspect that such synchronicities are at work, not only in the lives of those who do a lot of research or writing or inventing, but in all of our lives at some point or another -- and by having different guests share their own stories about this phenomenon, it helps us all to realize how common, and how important, synchronicities can be in our lives.

I personally think it also tends to add further support to the idea that this universe, and our human experience in it, is fundamentally shamanic and holographic in nature -- which is just what I believe the ancients were trying to tell us.



here's the YouTube version of the interview, for those who prefer that format (and feel free to share it!):

Welcome to new visitors from Midwest Real (and returning friends)!

Welcome to new visitors from Midwest Real (and returning friends)!

image: Khafre Pyramid, Wikimedia commons (link). Edited.

Special thanks to Midwest Real host Michael Phillip Nelson for having me over to  Midwest Real for a conversation on a variety of important and real subjects -- and welcome to all those visiting who may be here for the first time after learning about The Undying Stars via that interview!

The breadth of Michael's lines of inquiry was truly impressive, and I think that listeners will agree that the conversation covered all sorts of different terrain than that visited in other recent interviews.

I will be listening to the interview again in order to recall some of the topics that we discussed, so that I can put up some helpful links to resources to explore those subjects further.  Also, please note, that when I am talking and get going on a thought and say only "he" or "him," I should be saying "he or she" and "him or her" -- there are plenty of things during a spoken interview which I later realize could have been phrased better or more clearly!

Here is the list so far:

I hope everyone enjoys the interview -- visit again soon!

Shakespeare and the Creation of Reality

Shakespeare and the Creation of Reality

image: Sculpture of Hamlet, Wikimedia commons (link).

The previous post began with an examination of the special character found in certain of the plays of "William Shakespeare," known as the FOOL or CLOWN, and the role of this character in piercing through the artificial constructs of manufactured reality, using the instrument of language to wrench the perspective of those within the play to see the constructed world and its conventions from a different angle -- and to offer the same different perspective to us, the audience.

In fulfilling this role, the Fool or the Clown -- who may seem to be among the "lowest" or least "important" of the characters in the drama, perhaps just a figure tasked to provide some comic relief -- actually becomes the key to the entire endeavor, just as Jon Rappoport has argued that the "trickster god" is actually the most important and even the most powerful god in many ancient myth-systems, because he plays the same role of offering new and unexpected perspectives, challenging seemingly-entrenched paradigms (or "narratives" or "realities"), and revealing that the world is in some quite veritable way fabricated by our own mental and energetic creation of it, which means that the very barriers and chains which we forge to hold ourselves down can in fact be made to drop off like the cords upon the thews of the unshorn Samson, if we only heed the right message.

And, interestingly enough, the trickster-god is often the messenger god -- as he is in Greek mythology in the form of Hermes, god of thieves and divine messenger.

This fact is significant in that, as just mentioned, the trickster-god can be seen trying to convey this all-important message to us, a message which could set us free to create new realities, if only we could receive it. It is also significant in that, as the previous post explored briefly, the creation of realities is often done primarily through language.

But language is a tricky thing -- notoriously slippery, and nearly always capable of being read in at least two different ways simultaneously. Again, this connection should cause us to marvel even further at the ancient wisdom encoded and conveyed to us in myth, where the trickster-god is also the giver of writing and the carrier of language (slippery, trickery language).

This slippery aspect of language was employed with unequalled joy and verve by Shakespeare (whomever "Shakespeare" was), both to create shimmering towers of imagination and "realities" so real that we continue to talk about them today as if they were real places inhabited by real people, and to expose them as mere constructs -- and in doing so to expose the "real world" as very much composed of the same kind of constructed imaginations. After all, in one widely-known line, did Shakespeare not declare that "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"? (Jaques, in As You Like It, II. 7. 138-139).  

A brief examination of some of the word-play in one of the most famous "fool-scenes" in all of Shakespeare, the grave-digging clown-scene in Hamlet V.1., will demonstrate Shakespeare's ability to call attention to the artificiality of the constructed reality of the play, and in doing so to call attention to the artificiality of the constructed reality of the "real world" at the same time.

The scene begins with the two Clowns entering, carrying (we are told) a spade and a pickaxe, with which (we soon learn) they are digging a grave for fair Ophelia. We meet them in the midst of a discussion of the nicer points of the law, and trying to determine whether or not under the law she is deserving of a Christian burial. After butchering the legalese and imitating the niceties of legal arguments used to find loopholes or justify certain desired outcomes (and in doing so exposing the law as completely artificial and composed of words which can be turned one way for those in one class or category, and another way for those less-well connected), the conversation proceeds -- led by the First Clown, who is clearly the more subversive and perceptive and trickster-like of the two -- to an examination of Holy Scripture (beginning, interestingly enough, in line 33 of the scene).

In that exchange, the First Clown seems to be employing a devoutly literalistic hermeneutic (a word which itself comes from the name of the trickster-god Hermes and refers to the system of finding the message in the text), and yet his arguments undermine his own apparently-literal approach, because they deliberately misuse the second meaning of common words in order to arrive confidently at his skewed conclusions:

FIRST CLOWN: [. . .] There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers, and gravemakers; they hold up Adam's profession. [FIRST CLOWNdigs]
SECOND CLOWN: Was he a gentleman?
FIRST CLOWN: A was the first that ever bore arms.
SECOND CLOWN: Why, he had none.
FIRST CLOWN: What, art a heathen? How dost thou understand the Scripture? The Scripture says Adam digged. Could he dig without arms? [. . .] Hamlet V.1. 28-35.

After some more of this, digging all the while, the First Clown gives one final punch-line about the grave-digger being the builder stronger than the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter (because the houses he makes last till doomsday), and then says to the Second: "Go, get thee to Johan. Fetch me a stoup of liquor" (lines 55-56). Some commentators have interpreted this as an immensely comedic line which would bring a roar of laughter from the crowd, since they would have known Johan as an actual bartender in a nearby pub next to the Globe Theater itself (in London) -- and thus we have the First Clown in the play, tired out from all his digging and wishing to wet his whistle, sending the Second Clown around the corner of the theater itself to fetch him a drink!

If this interpretation is correct, it is in fact a truly humorous touch (equivalent to a character in a modern movie that you are watching on the home screen in your living room saying something like, "Isn't Jimmy's Deli right down the street from here? Morpheus -- hold on to those pills for a second, I need to go get a Coke"). It would be funny, and at the same time it would subvert the whole construct of the show, and wrench your perspective right back to the fact that you were watching a film or a play taking place on a screen or a stage, and the character you had been seeing as a character in a far-away world would suddenly be transformed into an ordinary person who just wants something to quench his thirst.

If Shakespeare was referring to a contemporary London pub or bartender there in line 55 rather than to some imaginary bartender in Hamlet's fictional Denmark, then this line is a remarkable example of the playwright calling the audience's attention to the fact that the play itself is an artificial construct -- but the Clowns have been doing that since they came on the stage about the artificial constructs (made primarily of language) which structure the world itself (and their own rather humble place within it).

The most famous aspect of the grave-digging scene, of course, comes when Hamlet himself (accompanied by the less mentally-flexible Horatio) come upon the First Clown digging away (the Second Clown having headed off to Johan to bring back a drink), and engage him in conversation -- giving the First Clown still further opportunity to show off his ability to stubbornly select the wrong meaning of key words in any communication, and thereby to subvert the intended message and demonstrate the unreliability of language, and hence the instability of anything that is upheld primarily by language, which of course includes the titles and privileges of the royalty and nobility to whom the Clown is speaking.

To reinforce the artificiality of the differences in the artificial hierarchies of the court and the state, the playwright has the Clown at this moment begin to toss up skulls out of the grave with his shovel, and the conversation turns to the way death and decay collapse most ignominiously all the worldly distinctions, and reduce them to dust.  The First Clown finally falls silent as Hamlet famously takes up the skull of "poor Yorick," and delivers a meditation upon the end of all flesh, including the lines, 

"Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay / Might stop a hole to keep the wind away" (V. 1. 196-197).

The image of Hamlet contemplating the skull held in his outstretched is one of the most famous in all of Shakespeare, and is certainly the defining pose of the Prince of Denmark (see for instance the statue above). Notably, we could in fact see this famous pose as ultimately emblematic of all that has been said so far in the foregoing exploration of the "construction of the world" question, for the construction of realities takes place in a very real sense within the "world" that is contained within the dome of the very object Hamlet is holding in his hand. 

If we stop and think about it, all of the outside universe is actually transmitted to the world within the sealed box of our skull by electronic impulses carried by nerves (sight by electronic impulses from the optic nerves, sound by impulses along the auditory nerves, taste and touch and smell as impulses along nerves as well) -- and once there, the the world we see around us, yes the entire universe outside, is constructed by the mind.  

Incredibly enough, Joseph P. Farrell (mentioned in these previous posts: 07/25/201104/02/201304/09/201302/10/2014, and 06/02/2014) as part of the wide-ranging historical investigation he conducts in his latest work Thrice-Great Hermetica and the Janus Age: Hermetic Cosmology, Finance, Politics and Culture in the Middle Ages through the Late Renaissance, has demonstrated, following the work of Frances A. Yates (1899 - 1981), that the Globe Theater itself (scene of Shakespeare's performances) was an esoteric model of the world and -- making further connections of his own based upon illustrations from the esotericist Robert Fludd (1574 - 1637) that its five stage entrances (three on the stage-level and two on either end of the upper balcony-area) might well symbolize the five senses of the human body (the very portals by which we have just seen that "reality" is "created" in the mind!)(193).

In other words, as Joseph Farrell argues, the stage depicts the Hermetic doctrine of the microcosm and macrocosm ("as above, so below") on multiple levels at once -- and he argues that this Hermetic design was very deliberately chosen as an important part of the transformative, paradigm-shifting, alchemical purpose of the Elizabethan plays themselves.

Of course, it need hardly be pointed out that the word Hermetica itself derives from the name of the trickster-god Hermes, the messenger and the transcender of boundaries and barriers, his "Thrice-Great" title a deliberate connection to the Egyptian god Thoth, giver of writing as well as the god of the Moon (among other attributes -- and note that the Moon is probably the most "shape-shifting" entity upon the entire heavenly stage).

All of this has profound import, both historically and as it pertains to our understanding of our own human condition, here in these human bodies upon this globe spinning through the cosmos.  Enough import, in fact, to fill several volumes (and thus far beyond the scope of this already over-extended post!).  But to conclude this brief examination, we can at least state that the self-conscious reality creation on display in the plays of Shakespeare (and the calling attention to that fact by the characters of the Clowns and Fools in many of his plays) was almost undoubtedly intended to awaken us to such reality creation in the world around us -- and in the world we carry around in our skulls.  

That realization is two-edged, in that it should awaken us to the danger of this reality-creation business: if "realities" are so easily created and so widely accepted, the process can be used to enslave, to bind, to restrict, and ultimately to limit human consciousness (the lack of consciousness being a common and crucial ingredient in most of the terrible downfalls depicted in Shakespeare's tragedies).

But, at the same time that the examination of reality-creation opens our eyes to its potential to keep us pinned down with imaginary chains, it invites us to consider our ability to use the reality-creating engine within our same skulls to discard false chains forged by others (and forged by ourselves) and in doing so to transcend them, to walk through the barriers between us and greater levels of consciousness, to step with Truman off the set of the Truman show (or with the Second Clown to step around the corner to grab a quick beer), and to create worlds along with the trickster gods of sacred myth (like the trickster-god Maui who creates the worlds of Hawai'i and Aotearoa when he dredges them up with his magic fish-hook).  

Ultimately (in a brilliant metaphor crafted by Jon Rappoport and described in many of his stories and articles), we can look at the stage-props and sets that others are constructing for our lives and say:

Oh! Oh -- I see: you guys are artists, right? You're artists, and you've got your own museum and your own theater, and you're making reality because you think that's what I want! You think you can sell me your infomercial about the cosmos! I get it! No thanks. Not interested.
Why? Ultimately, because I'm making up my own. Yeah, I'm making up my own. I don't need yours. [. . .] Because, come into my studio -- you see what I'm painting here? Come into my office -- you see what I'm building here? Come into my . . . whatever, my pasture, you see what I'm creating here? Come into my world -- you see what I'm creating here? This is far more interesting to me than what you're making for everybody.
-- Jon Rappoport: Mind Control, the Space Program, and the Secret Theater of Reality, June 29, 2014. Quotation begins at 1:07:38. Cited in this aforementioned post.

Jon Rappoport's talk on the trickster-god and creating reality

image: Seated Hermes, found in the Villa of the Papyri, Hurculaneum. Wikimedia commons (link).

One of the most important talks at the recent Secret Space Program -- among a lineup of talks that were all extremely important, each in its own way and also in conjunction with the others and with the larger thesis that was being explored from many different angles -- and one of the most memorable was undoubtedly the theatrical tour de force delivered by Jon Rappoport.

It was "theatrical" in the sense that Jon Rappoport seamlessly "channels" the voice and persona of whatever character he needs at any moment in order to illustrate his message, at times more than one character at a time (for instance, when depicting a dialogue or a debate), and at other times (after the fashion of the classical orators of antiquity) he will declare: "But I hear someone saying . . . " and then he will deliver the imagined counter-argument or challenge to his thesis, before he takes up his own voice again and demolishes their objection.

It was also theatrical in the sense that the heart of his message involved the use of "a little theater" -- as in, Let's show that the entire construct of reality is nothing but theater, a willful "suspension of disbelief" by those who have bought into it as if it were actually real. According to his argument, theater is a powerful tool by which we can "upset the apple cart," and demonstrate a different reality than the one that everyone is accepting as "the only reality" by unthinking default.

His talk was so successful in its theatricality and its delivery of his powerful message that it deserves to be seen and heard -- and I've been waiting to see if it would show up on YouTube or some other public outlet, so that I could link to the video of the presentation itself, allowing readers to go watch and listen to Jon Rappoport for themselves. However, so far it has not shown up in any public outlet that I have found, although it is available on the Secret Space Program official website, where those who purchased tickets to the event (either tickets to attend in-person or tickets to watch the streaming videos from the conference) can log in and see all of the videos of the presentations. 

So, I will discuss what I felt to be the most important points of Jon's talk, along with some quotations from the talk itself -- with the hope that if the video does become public at some point in the future, readers can go check out the entire thing.

The core of his message is at once both simple and profound . . . and so challenging that it is difficult to face, so challenging that it invites all the "defense mechanisms" of the brain to find a way to bury the message somewhere that we won't see it or have to think about it. 

His message is that imagination produces "reality."

This message is exactly what I am trying to articulate when I say that the unified message of every ancient mythology is shamanic and holographic at the same time -- but Jon Rappoport articulates this message without using either of those two terms, and in a way that is perhaps more direct, more profound, and more eloquent.

Let's "listen" to some of the most important parts of his lecture, to hear him in his own words. First, his argument that, in the most profound way possible, you are not material: that is, the part of "you" that actually makes you "you" is not the material part -- and the implications of that fact will be seen to be enormous, and will lead right into the most paradigm-upending pronouncements of quantum physics, and the "holographic universe" models that theoretical physicists have been proposing for the past forty or fifty years:
OK – so let’s take the materialist’s view of life: by conventional physics – conventional physics, OK? Everywhere’s particles. Tiny little particles. Call ‘em whatever you want: say they’re matter, say they’re energy, whatever you want – but that’s it! As far as you can go in the universe, that’s it, that’s what you’ve got when you boil it all down, you’ve got these little particles, right? Quarks and the things and the wavicles and the bah-bah-bah-bah. OK. And a conventional physicist will tell you, if you (you know) press them far enough, that none of these particles contain consciousness (what?) or the ability to understand anything – you know, what we ordinarily take to be understanding. They’re just particles, right?  This thing here? Particles. Particles, particles, particles, particles, particles, particles.  Brain? Same particles. No different! Don’t give me that – same particles.  Sorry!  So, how is it possible, then, that I’m talking and you understand what I’m saying? It’s not. Something impossible is happening here right now. Your brain is made out of the same particles mine is, same as the chair is, same as that camera, same as her lipstick, same as that strap, same as that thing you’re wearing, a bracelet. It’s all the same particles. Brain? Same particles. [. . . ] So by conventional physics (materialism, that’s the philosophy aspect of it) there’s no possible way that I could be talking and you could be sitting there understanding what I’m saying. But yet, it’s happening! Impossible! Therefore . . . you’re not material. Hate to break it to you. Neither am I. We’re inhabiting these things, but we’re not material. These things are material, but we’re not . . . and we possess this capacity to understand each other. Yes, the physical vehicle has a part to play, in the theatrical this and the that and the blueah-yuh-yuh-yuh, but that’s it. The actual understanding is non-material.  Somebody says, “WAIT a minute! I don’t like that. Don’t try to pull that one on me. I’m not non-material, my good friend.” Well, too bad. So if that’s the case, here, what we’re really looking at is a roomful of non-material beings inhabiting bodies, who are basically being confronted with the idea that they have extremely powerful imagination and creative power . . . That doesn’t seem like a stretch to me anymore. “Well, Hey! If I’m not really made out of matter, some pretty wild things are goin’ on here! You know? And if imagination happens to be one of those things, well why not? Yeah, I could see that! I create something, I create something!” Now somebody says, “Well, can you snap your fingers and make an elephant appear over there?” Nope! Nope! I can make him appear to me (hey, Bozo), but . . . if we go back into ancient Tibet, which is a whole other topic, I think we can see that they were on the trail of making an elephant that everybody could see – that’s another story for another time, perhaps – but the point is: it’s non-material you, asking yourself the question, “What can I do?” It’s not John Q. Patterson, of 63 Gobby-gooby Drive in San Jose, California, blah-blah, with a phone number of this, and a cell, and a pair of glasses, and a fence around his yard, and a thing, saying “What can I do?” . . . That’s not it! Because that dude has absolutely no chance! He has no answers -- he has no clue! He’s the wrong character in the play to be dealing with that issue. [Beginning at 01:10:46 into the presentation from Sunday, June 29, 2014].
In other words, once we have established that you, your consciousness, is non-material and that it is not being produced by the material physical universe of particles (it cannot be), then some pretty incredible ramifications immediately begin to force their way to the front of the crowd and start demanding we address them -- ramifications such as, "if my consciousness is not actually being generated by these particles, then is it actually dependent upon these particles, or is it somehow above and beyond them?" and "if I am not dependent upon the particles, then does that mean I can create realities with this non-material consciousness I've got? What about creating an elephant?" and "If this is true, then to what degree do we have to accept the tidy little boundaries and structures that seem to give meaning  and identity to everything?" (these questions are my extrapolations of some of the implications raised by the subject which Jon is discussing in the quoted segment above -- they are not quotations from the talk but I put them in quotation marks to point out that these are the kinds of questions that the point that Jon is making above should cause us to start asking).

These are implications raised by what I would call the holographic part of the formula "shamanic-holographic." But Jon Rappoport's real gift to the world is his articulation of what I would label the shamanic -- but what he calls the artist

The artist (and the shaman) transcends the artificial boundaries of what most of us accept as "reality" -- and in doing so they actually create a new reality.

This is the message that I believe to be at the heart of all of the ancient myths of the world -- a shamanic message, a shamanic-holographic message. And, in a profound and memorable part of his talk (the most profound and memorable part, to me) Jon Rappoport made this very point by invoking the trickster god -- specifically Hermes. Listen as he describes the process by which certain people who want to control others have become very adept at "creating reality" and handing it off to people who don't know that they can transcend the limitations of those so-called realities, and how the message that the trickster god desperately wants to get through everybody's head is that this reality is just one big giant construct, and that we should be using our imagination to transcend it and to create our own!
But it is, unfortunately, the answer: Imagination. You would think, uh, well . . . I was hoping it wouldn’t be that.  [. . .]  To look at it another way: the bad guys are already using their imagination. They’ve been doing that for a long time. And what they have created is this strange thing called “reality.” Who knew, right? That’s what they do. In my book The Secret Behind Secret Societies, I go into this at, you know, excruciating and painful length. The bad guys have been painting the mural of reality for a long time, but they’re not interested in looking at it themselves, unlike an actual painter. They just want to turn it the other way and show it to everybody else and say: “This is reality! OK? This is it!” And the last thing they want other people to then do is to say: “Well, who painted that?” No -- they want to make it so convincing that people are just gonna say, “Yeah! OK! That’s reality! Yeah!  It looks like a reality – Uh, you know . . . I don’t know what to compare it to (maybe a ringing cellphone) – uh, it is, it must be reality! And I will accept it because . . . it’s here! You see, this is the requirement. We’re all intelligent people, and, so, well, we all know: Let’s see -- what’s the definition of reality? What’s here! Anything else?” What else could it be? Now, if you’re a particularly perverse artist and you produced that painting, you’re going – “Man! You see this guy? He comes up to us in the museum and he goes: ‘Uh huh, yeah, that’s reality!’” In fact, in fact – this is very important – he doesn’t just look at the painting: he walks into the friggin’ painting.  And he takes a left, and a right, and he finds a little cottage, and he says: “Can I move in?” and everybody says: “Sure!” And he moves in, and he stays there. That’s how convinced . . . So somebody else, not just one person, of course, but . . . the mural is being painted. Right? Has been, for a long time. That’s called imagination. Now we can say, “Well, we just don’t have what it takes to do a better, different mural. You know. We gotta go with the one that we got.” And what I’m saying is, “That’s all wrong, you see.” But it kind of depends on you, saying, actually, “You know, I have an imagination, and I’m going to imagine a different reality, and some means of getting there. I’m gonna do something big.” All right? Theater – let’s have a little theater. Let’s upset the apple cart for example with some theater. Poke a hole in the status quo. This is what the trickster-god, Hermes or Mercury, was all about in the ancient Greek culture. He had enough firepower to be the king of the Olympians, in that mythology, but he didn’t wanna be, because he could see that everybody else was glued to this single reality, and he wasn’t. He was passing through buildings, and cars, and planes, and whatever they had back then, he would just go through it and around it and he would look at everybody hypnotized by the, you know, the reality and he would say: “Man! Wake up! Don’t you see?” and if necessary he would resort to stealing things from people – go into their houses at night: “OK, so he put the TV here, let me move it over here – this is gonna be good, you know. And then let’s go into the kitchen cabinet, and let’s take all of the cereal, and put it underneath with all the, you know, the cleaners and the crap, right? And then, let’s see, what else, let’s take his wife’s clothes and put ‘em in his closet, and his clothes and put ‘em in his wife’s . . . yeah, right!” And that guy wakes up the next morning and he gets up and he goes: “Wha- wha- What happened!” You know? “What happened to the reality that’s been painted for me, that I’ve accepted? Everything is different! Were the clothes . . . honey, did you change the clothes?” “No, you must have done it: I didn’t do anything.” “What happened, where is this, why is this, why is the cereal under the sink, with the Clorox? Are you now putting Clorox in my cereal?” Imagination, creative power. This is what consciousness is about. And part of the so-called, you know, paranormalthat word – it really means “imagination and creative power.” So that imagination produces reality. [00:30:44. The passage at the end introduced by "This is what the trickster god . . ." begins at 00:35:27].
This is incredibly powerful stuff. This is exactly the message (I believe) of "the hidden god." That message, you recall, portrayed in countless ancient myths of the world, is that when we plunge into incarnation, we are given a "drink of forgetfulness," causing us to forget our divine nature (and what is a divine nature, if not a "reality-producing" nature?), and the message of all the myths (from the hunt by Isis for the chopped-up pieces of Osiris, to the parable of the prodigal son, eating among the swine and forgetful of who he really is) is this: "Wake up!" (or, in the words inscribed upon the stones at Delphi: "Know thyself!"). 

It is a message that we are prone to forgetting, even after we have learned it once -- we may have remembered at one point that we could be an artist, transcending boundaries and creating new realities, and then somehow forgotten it and settled down inside the boundaries of someone's artificial construct again, and accepted our circumscribed little identity inside of it. That's why we need the trickster god to come "upset the apple cart" and show us that those "realities" are actually nothing more than a bunch of conventions that everyone is giving power to by their acceptance of them, but that once such acceptance is withdrawn, the conventions will melt away into the insubstantiality they always were to begin with.

The trickster-god in mythology is like the "clown" in the plays of Shakespeare (whoever he was, or whoever she was, or whoever they were . . . if the plays of Shakespeare are the products of someone or "someones" other than the Bard of Avon). The clown (or fool) is allowed to say things to those in power (including and especially the king) that no one else dares to say -- and the king welcomes it -- in fact needs it. The clown shows that the entire structure, which certainly seems to have a "reality" of its own (and a reality that is enforced by real steel bayonets and the real threat of death for those who try to resist it), is nothing more than a great big social construct, a fabrication given its power by the very acquiescence of everyone who subscribes to it. It is a power that is derived, for the most part, from words themselves -- and the clown characters of Shakespeare are past masters at playing with words, punning upon the ambiguous meanings of words, taking words too literally or otherwise twisting their meaning around to subvert their original intention, and otherwise showing that the whole thing is a great big artificial reality to which the clown refuses to subscribe and in which the clown refuses to settle down like everybody else.

In other words, the clown is trying to wake us up from our doltish acceptance of the artificial structures that limit us -- that may, in fact, have been "realities" that were spun for us by wielders of "mind control," as Jon Rappoport indicates in the quotations above. A delightful modern movie in which a "clown" character illustrates the concept of "mind control" is (appropriately enough), entitled The Court Jester.

What's more, virtually every ancient myth-system around the world has a trickster-god, and (as Jon Rappoport indicates in his discussion of Hermes quoted above), that trickster-god is an extremely important god: in many ways, the most important of all of them (think, for example, of the fact that the tradition of Hermetism or Hermeticism and Hermetic wisdom have an origin attributed to Hermes, or more specifically to Hermes Trismegistus: Hermes recognized as the Greek god who is identified with Thoth of ancient Egypt). 

In Norse myth, for example, the god associated with Hermes is in fact the most powerful of all the gods: Odin himself. "Odin's day" (or "Wotan's day") is our Wednesday, which is the day of Mercury (or Hermes) in the Latin languages (for example, it is Miercoles in Spanish). Odin is a boundary-crossing god: he famously (shamanically) transcends the boundaries of the physical body by hanging himself on the World-Tree of Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights, until he has a vision and "sees" the twigs on the ground turn themselves into runes (remember that Thoth, the Egyptian god associated with Hermes and hence with Odin, was the god of writing and of scribes and the giver of the gift of writing to humanity also). Odin passes through the boundaries to retrieve knowledge from the "other side" -- he brings into being "new realities." He is also constantly depicted in Norse myth as having to break his word and having it trouble him very deeply.

Not only that, but Odin is blood-brother to a sort of evil twin, the real trickster-god of Norse myth: Loki. If one were asked which Norse god was the counterpart of the trickster-god Hermes, the most obvious answer would seem to be Loki, not Odin. But the Norse myths tell us that Odin and Loki each opened a vein in their arms, and Odin let his blood and the blood of Loki flow together: hence, in a very real sense, Odin and Loki are actually both two sides of the same god. 

Loki, like Hermes, is a distinctly hermaphroditic god: we are told that of all the gods, his shape-shifting abilities are such that he can even take on the form of female creatures (Loki once famously turned himself into a mare in order to distract the work-horse of a threatening jotun -- and then when Loki became pregnant by that jotun's stallion, Loki became the dam of Odin's marvelous eight-legged steed, Sleipnir). So, Loki is a "boundary-crossing" god as well. In fact, Loki (like Odin) is constantly breaking his word, although unlike Odin he never seems to feel any remorse about it.

It is also interesting to note that, while Hermes is often portrayed as a slender, beardless youth (such as in the famous Seated Hermes statue shown above, which was discovered in the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum in Italy, a town like Pompeii on the slopes of Vesuvius, and which was horribly buried under fiery volcanic ash on that fateful day in AD 79), he is also portrayed in earlier art such as the Greek red-figure cup shown below as a bearded man with a wide-brimmed hat. Odin also famously wears such a hat in Norse mythology as well. In the scene below, Hermes is the one holding a caduceus staff -- the one topped with the twinned serpents intertwined into a figure that almost looks like a "figure eight."

image: Attic red-figure cup thought to date to the period 480 BC - 470 BC. Wikimedia commons (link).

Other trickster-gods in mythology are no less central and no less important. Among the tribes of North America, the most-important god is often Coyote, a famous trickster. When it is not Coyote, the trickster-god is often Raven. Significantly, these trickster-gods of the Native American myth-systems are the ones described as creating the world: in other words, they are creators of realities. But then, in the myths that follow the creation series, they are also the subverters of realities: the one who, by his actions, seems to say to the rest of the gods and to humanity, "Don't take this reality that you say I've created too seriously! Don't fall into the trap of imprisoning yourself inside of its artificial boundaries! You're supposed to take my example and then go forth and do likewise for yourselves!"

Among the Polynesians, including the Hawaiians and the Maori of New Zealand (Aotearoa), the central god is Maui, and he too is a trickster god. Once again, in both Hawaii and in Aotearoa, Maui is the one who creates the islands themselves, fishing them up out of the deep with his magical prepotent fishhook. But, once again, he is also a trickster, and as such he can be seen to be trying to wake everyone up to the same message that Hermes wants to convey, or Loki, or Coyote, or Jon Rappoport! In Maori mythology, too, Maui is more specifically also a shamanic god: frequently turning himself into birds, an attribute of shamans around the world, and an especially common transformation used by both Odin and Loki in the Norse mythologies.

Interestingly enough, all of the constellations which most likely find their mythical personification in the trickster-gods of the various world mythologies (such as Loki, Coyote, Raven, Maui, and the rest) seem to be located in a particularly significant portion of the sky (and boundary-line in the annual zodiac wheel).

The double-hemisphere "full sky star chart" shown below is not as helpful as it perhaps could be, in that it "curves" the constellations near its edges to replicate the curve one would find on an actual globe or celestial sphere (click here for an enlargement, but without my added constellation labels), but in it one can see that near the constellation Virgo there is a prominent "Coyote" constellation (that is to say, Lupus the Wolf constellation is my informed opinion as to the origin of the trickster-god Coyote) and not far from that Corvus the Crow (that is to say, my informed opinion as to the probable stellar origin of the trickster-god Raven; to see Corvus a bit better and to get some help in locating him in the night sky, see this previous post).

Note that I have already established (to my own satisfaction, at least) the identification of Loki with the constellation Boötes -- see the arguments put forward in this previous post. The myth that most firmly establishes Loki as the embodiment in myth of Boötes is, in my opinion, his antics that bring a smile to the lips of Skadi (who is clearly playing the role of Virgo, as that post demonstrates: the stars of Virgo having a famously coy smile and one which appears in many other world star-myths, including the myth of Amaterasu in Japan and of Sarai/Sarah in the Old Testament). However, the identification is strengthened (I would even venture to say, proven) by the myths of the theft by Loki of the necklace of the goddess Freya and of the theft by Loki of the hair of the goddess Sif, both of which are next to the constellation Boötes and also, of course, to Virgo (whom each of these goddesses is portraying in her turn). These theft-myths are discussed in this previous post: "Brisingamen, the necklace of Freya." 

Maui too can be identified with Boötes, for he has as his consort Hina, who is almost certainly Virgo. Thus, we can see that a great many of the most-important tricksters of the world's mythology (including Loki, Maui, Coyote, and Raven) are located in one very specific part of the sky.

Why would this particular part of the sky furnish the trickster-gods of the world's star-myths?

I would argue that the answer lies in the fact that these constellations are all very near to Virgo and to the crossing-line of the fall equinox (the equinox that lies, in the ancient system, at the juncture point between the sign of Virgo and the sign of Libra): 

This would be the point marked by the red "X" on the right-hand side of the above zodiac wheel, which (for observers in the northern hemisphere) is the equinox at which the days begin to be shorter than the nights, the equinox which marks the point of descent into the nether regions -- on the way to the very Pit of Hell at the winter solstice at the bottom of the wheel.

I would argue that the reason all of these "trickster-gods" are clustered around this part of the sky is that this juncture was mythologically portrayed as the very "crossing point" or "boundary" at which the soul (metaphorically speaking) plunges into incarnation (the ancient myth-systems allegorized this point on the wheel as the point of descent from the realm of the spiritual into the realm of the material and the incarnate -- see the discussions here and here for more on that concept). 

This boundary is critical to the trickster-god, because it is at this juncture (in the mythological system of using the majestic motions of the sky as a sort of Montessori teaching-aid to convey profound and abstract truths) that consciousness is robed in a physical body (made up, as Jon Rappoport so memorably told us, of "particles, particles, particles, particles, particles, particles"). It is thus at this very point (and during the incarnate life which follows the point of incarnation, when we toil through the "underworld" of this human existence in a body) that we are most vulnerable to being tricked into believing that the structures themselves are real and insurmountable! (By the way, as an important aside, I do not believe that boundaries are inherently bad or evil: boundaries can actually enhance creativity, as discussed in this previous post. The boundaries on a tennis court, for example, give the structure that enables the players to display their skills and their "artistry." When boundaries are agreed-upon as a positive enhancement of human liberty and creativity and freedom, then they can serve a very positive purpose. But, when artificial boundaries are created to limit human freedom, and when these artificial limiting boundaries take on an air of "reality" and insurmountability, then they are harmful).

But they are not ultimately real, and they are not ultimately insurmountable! This is the universal message of the trickster-god (who will go to great lengths to try to convey this message to us, subverting the apparently rigid "order" of the universe in whatever way he needs to in order to get his point through our thick skulls). 

Mainly, he will get this point across using jokes, ridicule, the ridiculous -- just like the clowns of Shakespeare are wont to do.

And here we see another important reason why the trickster-god comes from this particular point in the zodiac wheel (the point of incarnation): because incarnation itself, in many ways, is something of a gigantic joke that is played upon us! As Jon Rappoport so powerfully put it in the portion of his talk cited first above, "what we're really looking at is a roomful of non-material beings inhabiting bodies." 

That's funny! That's a situation that is just fraught with all kinds of potential comedy.

And, although he was addressing the roomful of non-material beings inhabiting bodies that happened to be physically there and listening to his talk at the moment, he could have just as easily said: "what we're really looking at is a world full of non-material beings inhabiting bodies."

And to return for just a moment to the symbology of Hermes discussed briefly above, we see that Hermes of course is the bearer of the caduceus, that staff up which run the intertwined serpents, which has become the symbol of medicine (the treatment of the human body). If he, like the other trickster-gods, is associated with the point of incarnation (the point where all the non-material beings get their bodies to inhabit for a time), then the caduceus (symbol of the profession that treats those inhabited bodies) would be the perfect symbol for Hermes. 

But that's not all, because of course it has been pointed out since the era of the modern model for the DNA molecule that the double-helix structure of this information-carrying self-replicating molecule resembles nothing in the world of symbol so much as it resembles the caduceus of Hermes. We could almost say that the wand carried by Hermes represents the DNA by which the trickster-god reminds us of our incarnate state -- and at the same time reminds us that this body (this product of DNA) is not all that we are, that even though it does limit us in certain ways it does not ultimately define us -- and that we can and must transcend those limits, and that in fact we will.

What a message!  

(And, of course, Hermes is after all the divine messenger).

Jon Rappoport has done humanity a tremendous service by framing this message so powerfully, and by bringing to bear every metaphor and every theatrical technique he can muster to convey this message to our hypnotized minds. It is a message that we all need to be reminded of, again and again (the ancient mythographers knew this, and told us we have amnesia, in no uncertain terms). If you have access to the video stream from the Secret Space Program conference, I would suggest you watch his talk several times, once every few days or every week, so that you remember it and so that it can penetrate our natural "defense mechanisms" that want to push this message out of sight and out of mind. If his talk is put up on any public video forums, I would suggest you do the same thing -- watch it again and again, at regular intervals.

Finally, Jon Rappoport has been articulating this very same message in several of his blog posts on his website since the conference (and some of those leading up to the conference). Some of these include "The Church of Progammed Perception," "And God appeared on a mountain; or maybe it was an actor," and "Beyond all structures" (in this one he discusses the role of Hermes). 

I can personally say that his message has greatly sharpened my own understanding of the concept I am trying to articulate as the holographic and the shamanic (or "shamanic-holographic"). The fact that he has done it using the trickster-god reinforces my conviction that the ancient sacred scriptures of the world were a legacy to humanity to promote "consciousness," the awareness that the universe is in a very real sense "holographic" and made up of vibrations, and that we can and must transcend those  boundaries (the "shamanic"). The ancient sacred scriptures were meant to point the way to human freedom. 

But somewhere along the way they were subverted by people who knew their message, and how to use their knowledge of the shamanic and the holographic to create artificial constructs for others, artificial realities, that did the exact opposite of what the scriptures were originally intended to do. To enslave rather than to liberate. The fact that Jon Rappoport sees the deliberate creation of an enslaving artificial reality as the root of the problems we face today reinforces the conclusions that I have also reached, conclusions which involve history going back at least to the early Roman Empire and the creation of the Flavian dynasty. And, if those conclusions about history are correct, we should expect different analysts to arrive at them from all kinds of different avenues of investigation.

Thank you, Jon Rappoport, for your courageous pursuit of the truth for decades as an investigative reporter, for your ongoing investigations and articles, and for your clarity in articulating the message we all need to hear: that imagination creates reality, and that the antidote and solution to those who want to use their imagination to enslave is this -- for people, en masse, to become artists:
But if people, en masse, began to say: “Oh! Oh – I see: you guys are artists, right? You’re artists, and you’ve got your own museum and your own theater, and you’re making reality because you think that’s what I want! You think you can sell me your infomercial about the cosmos! I get it! No thanks.  Not interested.” 
“Why? Ultimately, because I’m making up my own. Yeah, I’m making up my own. I don’t need yours. Yeah, it’s pretty impressive – I’d like to take the tour, I’ll give you a buck, whatever, you know . . . does lunch come with that? You have a ticket I can have? You know?  But as far as enrolling? And becoming a . . .? Nahhh. Because, come into my studio – you see what I’m painting here? Come into my office – you see what I’m building here? Come into my . . . whatever, my pasture, you see what I’m creating here? Come into my world – you see what I’m creating here? This is far more interesting to me than what you’re making for everybody.”
[Jon Rappoport, Mind Control, the Space Program, and the Secret Theater of Reality, June 29, 2014, Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilizations Conference, San Mateo, California. Quotation begins at 1:07:38].

California's Old Stone Face, pareidolia, and Carl Sagan's demon-haunted world

Located along the California coastline, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, near the town of Los Osos, is a rugged boulder known as the "Old Stone Face."  As you can see from the image above, it clearly resembles a human profile, staring silently off in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, towering above the other boulders nearby.

If we ask ourselves how this boulder came to resemble so closely the profile of a human face, the first and most likely explanation is that we are simply "reading into" the natural shape of a rocky outcropping and finding a human face.  The ability to see forms in the random patterns of nature, such as in clouds, is called "pareidolia," and some have suggested that the ability to find faces among random shapes and figures is an evolutionary trait which has become "hardwired" into the human brain.  

For example, in his book the Demon-Haunted World (1997), Carl Sagan wrote:
Humans, like other primates, are a gregarious lot.  We enjoy one another's company.  We're mammals, and parental care of the young is essential for the continuance of the hereditary lines.  The parent smiles at the child, the child smiles back, and a bond is forged or strengthened.  As soon as the infant can see, it recognizes faces, and we now know that this skill is hardwired in our brains.  Those infants who a million years ago were unable to recognize a face smiled back less, were less likely to win the hearts of their parents, and less likely to prosper.  These days, nearly every infant is quick to recognize a human face, and to respond with a goony grin.  
As an inadvertent side effect, the pattern-recognition machinery in our faces is so efficient in extracting a face from a clutter of other detail that we sometimes see faces where there are none. 45.
Note that Sagan here is pawning off his explanation for the origin of our "pattern-recognition machinery" as the only possible explanation -- he is declaring authoritatively that this skill is a byproduct of the need for parental attention in mammals in order to survive.  One wonders whether whales and dolphins (who are also mammals and nurse their young) evolved their own "inadvertent side effect" similar to ours, and now see the faces of their own species in random groupings of waves or drifting seaweed.  

Sagan's fable about babies who respond with "a goony grin" having better odds of survival is just that: a fable.  One might still believe in evolution but argue that the ability to recognize a face in the jungle could help save you from an ambush, and that therefore early humans who could spot a face hiding among the rocks or the leaves (even if camouflaged) would be more likely to survive and reproduce.   But no -- Sagan authoritatively declares that his smiling infant explanation is the reason for our ability to  see faces, and that is the end of the matter.  It is, of course, also possible that our amazing "pattern-recognition machinery" is something that did not come about by evolutionary pressures at all (here is a link to a series of posts on the topic of evolution and alternative possibilities).

In any case, whether you agree with Sagan's explanation above or not, one possible explanation for the Old Stone Face shown in the (un-retouched, un-altered) photograph above is that it is simply another example of our incredible ability in "extracting a face from a clutter of other detail."  This is certainly the simplest explanation, and therefore has much to commend it.  In fact, using the principle of "Occam's razor," it must be considered the reigning hypothesis unless and until enough other pieces of evidence can be found which indicate that a different explanation should be entertained.

However, just because humans do have a remarkable ability to "extract a face" from random clutter does not necessarily mean that the boulder above was not subtly altered to more closely suggest a human head.  In fact, there are several examples from around the world of stone profiles which were altered by ancient humans -- indicating that the practice of shaping stony prominences into human faces was a deliberate activity that marked many different cultures, or perhaps one culture that traveled to many different locations on our globe.

For example, in the post entitled "Aligned stones, V-shaped notches, and massive but subtle sculptures found in India, New Zealand, and Peru," we examined evidence from three widely separated places where ancient sky-watchers created stone circles with astronomical alignments, as well as sight-lines to surrounding terrain features (some of which have conspicuous V-shaped notches aligned to important solar and lunar rising and setting points), and -- in each case -- the ancient stone builders of these complexes seem to have done some additional manipulation of large stones nearby in order to create monumental sculptures, often of craggy bearded faces.

At the important site of Ollantaytambo, in modern-day Peru, for example, there is a massive stone face measuring over 300 feet in height (see below).  Its profile features frowning brows, an angular jawline, and a nose very similar in shape to the Old Stone Face on the California coastline shown above.

Due to the other obvious signs of advanced stoneworking present in the area, as well as the very obvious shape of the eye and the nose, I would venture to state that even Carl Sagan would not argue that the face at Ollantaytambo is the product of our "hardwired" human ability to "see faces where there are none."  It was certainly sculpted by ancient artisans, perhaps because the cliff already had some natural resemblance to a human face, for reasons of which today we can only speculate: possibly for fun, and possibly for much more serious purposes.

The previous post linked above also made reference to a massive craggy bearded face found in a rock cliff at Whangape, on the north end of the North Island of New Zealand (Aotearoa).  This enormous face is discussed by Martin Doutre in his excellent Ancient Celtic New Zealand website, where it can be seen in two photographs at the very bottom of this page in his "articles" section.

Of that stone face, Mr. Doutre writes:
The clearly carved face is huge, and gazes towards the general positions of the Summer Solstice and Equinox rise points of the sun.  The face itself was carved to be very deliberately fluted or channeled, causing a high degree of shadow play across the face between the time of the Summer Solstice to the Winter Solstice and throughout each day of the year.  The Winter Sun would leave very long shadows on the face and an adept reader of the interplay between light and shadow would be able to fairly accurately determine both the time of year and the time of day.  The pyramidal marker stone atop the head would have served the function as an observatory position for solar rises and sets.  Accurate fixes on the Solstices (Summer & Winter) and Equinoxes (Vernal & Autumn) would have been calculated from that position and the calendar kept accurate accordingly.

Like the face of the old bearded man of Tokatoka, Ruawai, mentioned in Waitaha oral traditions, the face at Whangape sits adjacent to a deep navigable channel to the sea. These huge carvings obviously represented Tangaroa, god of the sea and ocean migrations.  It seems reasonable to assume that mariners heading to the open sea would say prayers to Tangaroa and, upon a safe return, express their thanks.
Interestingly enough, the Old Stone Face on the California coast is also found very close to a deep harbor with a channel leading to the Pacific Ocean.  Is it at least possible that, given its apparent similarities to the faces at Whangape and Ollantaytambo, it is the product of an ancient practice of subtly altering large stone outcroppings?

It is important to note that it is very possible that people in all parts of the world altered stone outcroppings independent of one another to create sculptures.  However, there are certain strong similarities in these faces which suggests the possibility that the people who created them were in some way connected (we can entertain this possibility for the cultures that produced the faces at Ollantaytambo and Whangape, whether or not we believe the Old Stone Face in California was manipulated by humans in the past).

As mentioned in the previous blog post linked above, the practice of subtly altering stone formations to resemble profiles is found in many other parts of the world as well.   This page from the website of Subhashis Das contains outstanding photographs of some of the wealth of ancient megalithic sites still surviving today in India.  If you scroll far down through the page, you will see boulders which have been subtly altered to resemble a huge iguana and the flukes of a diving whale.  On a different page, entitled "Did India and Britain have a contact in the deep past?" Mr. Das presents numerous photographs of dolmens, holed-stones, and labyrinth-patterned carvings in both India and the British Isles which strongly suggests that they are all the products of a single ancient culture, or at least of cultures which had fairly close contact with one another.

The evidence from around the world clearly seems to suggest that there was in fact an ancient culture which left its imprint at points far removed across our entire planet, from the British Isles, to the Americas, to the South Pacific, and that this ancient culture for whatever reason enjoyed creating massive stone sculptures in such a way that their art looked almost as if it was the product of nature and not of a human artist.  Based on this evidence, the many stone faces which can be seen around the world (often near a waterway or a navigable coastline) should be carefully examined to see if there is any evidence to suggest that there are also deliberate astronomical alignments marked into the terrain nearby, or other evidence to connect them to sites such as Ollantaytambo and Whangape and some of the megalithic ruins in India.

Because of the evidence from other parts of the world, these stone faces should not be immediately dismissed as products of "pareidolia," or Carl Sagan's "hardwired pattern-recognition machinery."

October 6 is the birth-date of Thor Heyerdahl

October 6 is the birthdate of Thor Heyerdahl (1914 - 2002).  His insights, analysis and expeditions provided some of the most important evidence for what is often called the "diffusionist" theory versus the "isolationist" theory.  

The diffusionist theory argues that ancient peoples had the capability of deliberately and repeatedly crossing the oceans, including the Atlantic and the Pacific, and that they did so as far back as the time of the ancient Egyptians.  It thus stands agains the isolationist theories taught by most conventional academicians today, which categorically rejects any suggestion of the possibility of cultural contact between peoples from different continents in ancient times, despite abundant evidence around the world that seems to suggest such ancient contact.  

Thor Heyerdahl entered into this momentous question by several happy circumstances beginning in his early life, which -- when brought into contact with his boundless curiosity and irrepressible optimism and adventurous spirit -- led to several famous adventures and discoveries of tremendous significance.  

This webpage from the Kon-Tiki museum explains that as a young student at the University of Oslo, Thor Heyerdahl met Bjarne Kroepelien, who had traveled to the South Pacific, a part of the world that had fascinated Heyerdahl since childhood.  Kroepelien assisted the young Thor Heyerdahl when Thor and his new bride Liv decided to try to live on an undeveloped island (Fatu Hiva) in the Marquesas to study the local flora and try to determine the route that had brought the various species to the island.  

It was Kroepelien's letter to the Tahitian Chief Teriieroo which enabled Thor and Liv to spend a month with Teriieroo on Tahiti, for practical training in the traditional methods of living off the land.  They stayed a year but insect-borne disease forced them to seek medical attention on neighboring Hiva Oa.  There, another Norwegian who had permanently settled there on a coconut plantation showed Heyerdahl some stone statues in the jungle, which -- along with his friend's suggestion that similar statues could be seen in Colombia, in South America -- fired Thor Heyerdahl's imagination and started him on the pursuit of theories that went against the settled opinion of the historians and anthropologists of his day, and launched him on the many adventures and investigations that would become his life's work.

Heyerdahl became convinced that the islands of the Pacific had been peopled originally by people from South America, perhaps a people who were the predecessors of the Inca, who had traveled eastward on balsa rafts, and who were later joined by another wave of people from the northwest tribes of North America, who had traveled southeast on double-hulled canoes.  These two peoples later mixed (sometimes peacefully and sometimes violently) on the various islands of the wide Pacific, leaving a distinctive Polynesian culture that stretched all the way from Easter Island (Rapa Nui) to New Zealand (Aotearoa).  

Meeting solid opposition from those who said this theory was impossible, Heyerdahl in 1947 undertook his most famous adventure, the Kon-Tiki expedition, to prove that long-distance travel over the open ocean in balsa rafts was not only possible, but extremely practical.  In his best-selling account of that expedition (still thrilling reading today), he explains the origin of the expedition's now-famous name:
Virakocha is an Inca (Ketchua) name and consequently of fairly recent date.  The original name of the sun-god Virakocha, which seems to have been more used in Peru in old times, was Kon-Tiki or Illa-Tiki, which means Sun-Tiki or Fire-Tiki.  Kon-Tiki was high priest and sun-king of the Incas' legendary 'white men' who had left the enormous ruins on the shores of Lake Titicaca.  The legend runs that the mysterious white men with beards were attacked by a chief named Cari who came from the Coquimbo Valley.  In a battle on an island in Lake Titicaca the fair race was massacred, but Kon-Tiki himself and his closest companions escaped and later came down to the Pacific coast, whence they finally disappeared oversea to the westward. . .  18-19.  
Heyerdahl explains that the existence of strong traditions as far away as the Marquesas of a founding anscestor named Tiki, who had come to the islands "from a mountainous land in the east which was scorched by the sun" (18).  Hence, his voyage and the vessel he and his companions used in order to prove such a direction of travel was possible, even over the vast distances and mighty ocean swells of the broad Pacific, was dubbed the Kon-Tiki.

Later in his life, Heyerdahl undertook similar voyages across the world's largest oceans in ships built of traditional materials and design, including the Ra voyage across the Atlantic and the Tigris voyage across the Indian Ocean.

For previous posts referring to some of Thor Heyerdahl's arguments against the isolationist theories, see also:
For a partial list of some of the overwhelming pile of evidence which supports the "diffusionist" theories and casts serious doubt on the "isolationist" theories, see the links in this previous post entitled "The Calixtlahuaca head."

Also, while October 6 is an important date because of the birthday of Thor Heyerdahl, October 5 (still the date here in California as this is published) is even more important, as it is the birthday of my father -- Happy Birthday!  He taught me to make Norwegian crepes, which I had for breakfast this morning.  He also introduced me to the love of looking at the stars, beginning with the wonderful book Find the Constellations, by H.A. Rey -- and plenty of trips outside together to look up at the night sky and try to find the constellations ourselves.

Utterance 245: transformation into a hawk

Above is an image from Wikimedia commons of an Olmec figurine, discovered in what is now Mexico, and thought to date from the 6th century BC to as far back as the 10th century BC.  It is made of greenstone, which is a material that is notably treasured by the Maori of Aotearoa and used by them for centuries to make figurines and jewelry, as discussed in this previous post.  

This particular Olmec figurine displays features of a man, but also of a bird of prey, possibly an eagle, including a plume between two wide-spread eyes, and a beak-like mouth.  Here is a link to the page at the Metropolitan Museum of Art describing the figurine.  The discussion there notes that some scholars believe that:
such figures are representations of a shaman's transfiguration into his nahual, or powerful animal counterpart. It is believed that, in this altered state, a shaman is able to interact with the spirit world and use his abilities to heal, punish, or predict the future.
In the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt, the king is described as transforming into a bird of prey as well.  Scholar Jeremy Naydler has argued that the Pyramid Texts do not describe the hoped-for journey of the soul of a departed king, but rather that they describe a deliberate out-of-body journey taken by a living king.  In other words, he believes the Pyramid Texts are primarily shamanic rather than funerary.  See this previous post and this previous post for further discussion of Jeremy Naydler's important thesis.

You can visit the Pyramid Texts online through an outstanding website called the Pyramid Texts Online.  There, you can read the texts as they are laid out in the pyramid of Unas, last king of the Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt, whose reign ended circa 2345 BC.  On the south wall of the passageway between the sarcophagus chamber and the antechamber, you can find Utterance 245, in which Unas is transformed into a hawk:
This Unas comes to you, O Nut,
this Unas comes to you, O Nut!
He has thrown his father down to earth
he has left a Horus behind him.
His two wings have grown as those of a hawk,
(his) two feathers (are those) of a holy hawk.
His soul has brought him (here),
his magical power has adorned him.

May you open your place in heaven amongst the stars of heaven!
You are indeed the unique star, the comrade of Hu.
May you look down on Osiris, when he gives orders to the spirits!
You stand high up, far from him.
You are not of them, you shall not be of them.