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Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

I am a catastrophist: I believe that the existing evidence overwhelmingly supports theories which conclude that earth's geology was primarily shaped by one or more catastrophic events, rather than theories which posit that earth's geology as we see it today is the result of the same types of processes we see acting around us today, and that given enough time these "normal" processes could produce the geological features we see on our planet.

The question of whether our planet's features reveal evidence of catastrophe, or whether our planet's features were produced by "normal" processes acting in a "uniform" manner over eons and eons of time (the so-called "uniformitarian" category of theories, which arose in the eighteenth century among those who may have had ulterior motives for rejecting then-prevailing catastrophist thought), is important in its own right, of course.

But it is also important with regard to the mystery of humanity's ancient past.

Just as I believe the evidence overwhelmingly supports a catastrophist conclusion regarding the forces which shaped the features we find all around us on planet earth, in contrast to the "uniformitarian" explanations which have now become the dominant conventional position of most in academia, I believe that the evidence overwhelmingly supports a view of ancient human history which is radically different from the currently-accepted conventional narrative held by academia today.

For example, the ancient mysterious monuments found on the Giza plateau in Egypt (the Giza pyramids), the ruins of the Indus Valley civilization (in modern-day India), the Nazca lines (in modern-day Chile), the temples at the Angkor complex (in modern-day Cambodia), and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are all located on a "great circle" -- indicating some kind of coordination which we cannot currently explain with the conventional paradigm of human history, as well as very precise and sophisticated ancient knowledge of the size and shape of our spherical earth.

There are many other ancient sites located along different great circles -- part of a body of evidence suggesting that the most mysterious monuments on our planet may all have been part of some kind of a vast worldwide grid, the purpose and design of which remains a mystery at this time.

The geological evidence of a catastrophe or catastrophes (which is generally rejected by the uniformitarian camp dominant in academia) may well be related to the mysteries of humanity's ancient past (which, judging by massive evidence which refutes the conventional academic view, was almost certainly very different from what we have been taught).

Comets may constitute an entire category of space-borne evidence of a tremendous catastrophe within our solar system long ages ago. Dr. Walt Brown, the originator of the hydroplate theory (a catastrophist theory involving a global flood, a theory which has tremendous amounts of evidence to support it, and which is the subject of numerous previous blog posts as well as my first book, The Mathisen Corollary), believes that numerous pieces of evidence indicate that comets are the modern remains of water which was violently ejected from earth at the start of the catastrophic flood event.

You can read about some of this evidence in numerous previous posts on comets, such as these "internal search" results for the word comet using the internal search window for this blog found in the upper-left portion of most desktop browsers, and you can read more about Dr. Brown's analysis of the evidence regarding the origin of comets in this chapter of the latest edition of his book, which he graciously makes available in its entirety online here (you can also order the physical version of the book here).

Right now is an exciting time, because a long-traveling spacefarer in the form of a long-period comet has entered the inner solar system and is streaking past the earth, close enough to be visible with the naked eye (although not very easily -- it is more easily visible with binoculars). It is Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), discovered by Terry Lovejoy of Australia last year. This comet has an orbital period estimated by conventional scientists as approximately 14,000 years, which means that if they are right, it hasn't passed this way since around 12,000 BC, and won't be back again until around the year AD 14,000. 

There are some good reasons to suspect that the conventional estimates are somewhat flawed, which are discussed in this previous post about Comet ISON, which was based on Dr. Brown's discussion of Comet ISONin his book here. If Dr. Brown's theory is correct and the comets we see today are the remnants of a tremendous catastrophe which took place on earth thousands of years ago, it is possible that this is actually Q2's first return visit since that catastrophe took place. 

Those discussions also note that, due to the presence of mass at the outer reaches of our solar system, which might act to pull comets back a bit more quickly than conventional scientists currently calculate using their models -- which means that it might be a little less than 14,000 years before C/2014 Q2 passes back this way again. Nevertheless, an error of a few hundred years in an estimated orbital period of 14,000 probably won't make much difference to those of us living today -- and so we should probably make every effort to observe this long-traveling visitor this time around.

Fortunately, C/2014 Q2 is not difficult to locate, if you know where to look. It's not anywhere near as dramatic as was Comet Hale-Bopp, which was enormous even to the naked eye and looked exactly the way a "classical" comet would be expected to look. Q2 is very difficult to see with the naked eye, but it can be seen as a dim glow or fuzz with the naked eye, and with binoculars it can be easily perceived as what to me appeared to be a faintly-glowing tiny cloud, or perhaps what might be described as a very tiny flashlight shining towards us from behind a kind of blue fog.

But, while Hale-Bopp is also a long-period comet, its orbital period is nowhere near as long as that of C/2014 Q2. Hale-Bopp is expected to return in AD 4385 -- long before the next return of Comet Q2 -- and it had probably circled through the inner solar system at least once previously, in the 23rd century BC (there is some evidence that the ancient Egyptians may have recorded that previous visit). And so, Comet Q2, while much less visually spectacular, should inspire its own awe in the viewer, as we contemplate an object which has traveled so far, for so long, and which has streaked in towards us close enough to see from the almost-incomprehensible distance of 1,156 astronomical units (Halley's comet, a short-period comet, only gets out to 35 astronomical units before coming back, and it is due again in AD 2061).

Right now the moon is in its waning phase, on its way to a new moon on January 20. The moon is rising fairly late in the night (after 11pm, and getting later each night). So it is an excellent time to go out and look for Comet C/2014 Q2.

Below, I will present a series of images that will help you locate the comet, if you haven't been able to do so already. With apologies to my southern hemisphere friends, these will be "northern hemisphere-centric." 

First, head over to Sky & Telescope, where Alan McRobert has written an article containing two excellent star charts that show the path of the comet from one night to the next -- since we are now in January of 2015, you will want to use the second of the two charts (the very last chart at the very bottom of the article).

The arcing yellow line shows the comet's path from one night to the next, but you won't be able to actually see it moving -- look on the line for the little tick-marks indicating the comet's location by date, and find the mark indicating the current date to see where the comet should be along that curved line.

The images below should help get you "in the ballpark." 

I went outside and laid down on my back on the ground, and looked up at the sky using binoculars. If you happen to own a reclining lawn chair, that might be slightly more comfortable, although lying on the ground at night and looking up at the stars is also rather nice.

If it is not cloudy or foggy (or full of light pollution from city lights), you should have no difficulty observing the breathtaking panorama of winter stars, including Orion, Taurus, and the Pleiades. These will act as the pointers to direct us to the location of Comet C/2014 Q2.

The image below (from the excellent free open-source planetarium app Stellarium) shows the night sky as I observed it this evening, from a location that is about 35 North latitude, and looking to the south. You can clearly see Orion with his three belt stars, as well as Sirius in Canis Major to his lower left, inside the band of the Milky Way. To the right and up from Orion on the other side from Sirius, you can see the distinctive "V" of the Hyades, with orange-colored Aldebaran as their brightest star. Beyond the "V" of the Hyades you can see the gorgeous little cluster of the Pleiades. We will label these in a future slide, as we "zoom in" a little closer.

I would recommend using binoculars if you have access to some. While lying on the ground, try to observe the three belt-stars of Orion, without having to strain your neck at all (you should find that you can move the angle of the binoculars to "sweep" to different stars, without having to actually lift your head up off the ground or the reclining lounge chair). 

Check your focus -- see if they are clear and distinct. If not use the wheel to dial them into focus.

Then head up to the Pleiades. You should be able to see them all very distinctly. They are stunningly beautiful. You may want to just stare at the Pleiades for hours. They are often called the "Seven Sisters," but there are many more than seven, as you will see if you look at them with binoculars. Ensure your focus is nice and clear on the Pleiades.

Below is the same screen-shot as that shown just above, but this time I have outlined a rectangle that includes the area we want to focus on in order to locate Comet Q2:

This red rectangle shows the section of the sky that includes the "main body" stars of the constellation Orion, along with the "V" of the Hyades, and (in the upper-right corner) the cluster of the Pleiades.

Below is the area within that red rectangle:

Can you find the constellation Orion, the "V" of the Hyades (with Aldebaran), and the tiny cluster of the Pleiades in the image above?

Below is the same image, with those three landmarks labeled for you:

You should be able to find all three of these major sky landmarks with your binoculars and have good enough focus to make out the individual stars of the Pleiades or the Hyades before you try to find Comet Q2.

To find Q2, I believe the best way is to draw a line from the bottom of the "V" of the Hyades to the next star down from the "V." In other words, envision the "V" as a capital letter-"Y" instead of a "V." There is a star, clearly visible with binoculars, that you can find if you follow a line that bisects the "V" of the Hyades and if you follow that line through the point at the bottom of the "V" on across space until you reach a star that "turns the V into a capital-Y." The diagram below shows how to find this star:

The arrow at the bottom of this letter "Y" is pointing right to the first star below the "point of the V" of the Hyades. This star is actually the star designated as lambda Tauri, sometimes known as the "Bull's chest." If you find it, you are well on your way to locating the comet.

Note, of course, that this will only work for the comet's location on the next couple of nights. As those charts from Star & Telescope illustrate, the comet's path continues to arc further to the north, at the top of the screenshots above, and so soon we will have to find a new "handrail" to get us in the vicinity of the comet's location.

However, right now this method should work very well to allow you to find Comet Q2.

The comet is currently "down and to the right" from lambda Tauri, roughly along the same axis as the "arrow" shown in the screenshot just above. I found that if I continued in the same direction as the line formed from the bottom of the "V" of the Hyades through lambda Tauri

using my binoculars, lambda Tauri  would disappear from the "circle" of view of the binoculars just as the comet came into view (with lambda Tauri  disappearing to the "upper left" of the circle just as the comet appeared in the "lower right" of the circle).

Below, I have shown the "circle" of view as visible through my binoculars (10 x 24 with a 6 degree view). As I have tried to depict, if you continue down and to the right from lambda Tauri, you will get to a field that contains the comet just after lambda Tauri is no longer in the circle. The "dotted circle" would contain the comet:

As stated previously, the comet appeared to me as a kind of "glowing fog." It had a ghostly bluish color. It appears like an illuminated mist or haze, to me. I don't think you will mistake it for a star, if you have your binoculars in focus (use the Hyades or Pleiades to focus). The comet is currently at the location indicated by the red "X" below -- but remember that it will continue to travel north, and will be passing by the Pleiades on the 19th of January:

In the above image, you can see the "V" of the Hyades, then follow down the "Y" to the star lambda Tauri, and then continue moving the circular view of your binoculars a little further. You can see that the comet comes into the circle of the view as the star lambda Tauri is just outside the circle. 

Finally, I have created one more image in which I have attempted to create the "bluish glow" of the comet. This isn't really what it looks like "in person" -- the comet itself is much more magical looking, as if someone or something were illuminating a cloud or a fog. It is faint, but it is kind of ghostly-looking, as if it were glowing. The image below is simply an attempt to give the impression, in order to help you know what to look for. It also won't be this big -- not much bigger, in fact, than lambda Tauri or some of the other stars you will see as you make your way over to the comet's location, but possessing a very slight cloud around it.

I hope that this discussion gives you the motivation to go locate Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), as well as the confidence to know that you can and will find it!

This long-traveling comet is awesome to contemplate: with a periodicity that approaches 14,000 years, it is like an ocean wave which crests only once every fourteen millennia, a drum that beats out a rhythm  only once every one hundred forty centuries.

Additionally, it may be a messenger from an ancient catastrophe of incredible magnitude, a catastrophe that left scars across the face of our planet (and elsewhere in our solar system), and one that may be tied up with the mysterious ancient history of humanity.

I hope that you will be able to see it!

"Wake up, gorillas! Don't perpetrate violence."

"Wake up, gorillas! Don't perpetrate violence."

I believe that the original 1968 Planet of the Apes film really has little or nothing to do with the idea of actual apes taking over the world in some imaginary future, but that its true purpose is to graphically depict systems of oppression and mind control in human societies in the present day

One of the most powerful messages conveyed by the film is that oppression and tyranny actually require the cooperation and complicity of three different categories of participants -- none of whom could actually be completely effective without the special skill-sets of the other two. 

In the metaphor of the movie, these three groups are graphically and memorably depicted as the orangutans, the gorillas, and the chimpanzees. 

Note well that it should go without saying that these different roles of "gorilla," or "orangutan," or "chimpanzee," are absolutely not intended to refer to different ethnicities or religions or other "labels" which are used to falsely divide us and turn us against one another and focus on externals instead of the fact that we are all spirit clothed in a body, and also to distract us from perceiving the real aspects of oppressive systems of control. No, the three different groups of apes depicted in the film represent different roles that any man or woman can find himself or herself playing in this world, if we are not careful (and sometimes even if we are). 

Far from being "typical" of any one artificial division of humanity, each of the special skills displayed by these three groups of apes in the metaphor of the film (and the 1963 book by French author Pierre Boulle, on which it is loosely based) seem to represent aspects of human nature common to all men and women, aspects we each possess to some degree.

Each of these aspects of our nature actually has a very positive role to play on behalf of human freedom and individual consciousness and empowerment. But each can also be twisted into the service of oppression and tyranny and the suppression of human consciousness -- and it is this twisted side that is on display in the 1968Planet of the Apes, where the tyrannical oppression is maintained by fraud, violence and cowardly collaboration, in a world that is portrayed as an inversion or 180-degree opposite of the way things rightfully should be (and which, the film implies, is the way our own society has somehow become).

The special skill of the gorillas, of course, is the application of physical combat power. This skill, it must be understood, is not inherently evil, but is in fact necessary  at times, in order to stop violence, which is a subset of physical force when applied in violation of someone's natural inherent rights. 

The application of physical combat force, whether with a weapon or without it, when used to protect someone from having their physical body damaged or violated by another, is not a violation and thus is not properly violence. If someone sees a person preparing to injure or violate another human being, and that someone uses physical force to stop that other person from perpetrating that violence, it is completely lawful and proper to do so. 

Thus, skill at applying physical force is admirable and good, when coupled with the understanding that such force is only rightly applied to protect oneself or others from violence. The "gorillas" in the film, of course, unquestioningly and happily employ force in the service of oppressing anyone who questions the absolutist vision of the orangutans -- and especially in the service of oppressing the terrified, persecuted, huddled masses of pathetic and voiceless humans. 

Were the gorillas to refuse to use their special skills in the service of the orangutans' criminal system of oppression, and instead devote themselves to only using force to actually protecting the helpless, the entire tyrannical system would cease to be able to oppress anyone. The orangutans are dependent upon the "muscle" of the gorillas and the special skill-set that the gorillas possess in order to impose their system upon the other apes and upon the degraded humans.

The orangutans, for their part, specialize in creating and maintaining the illusion upon which the entire fraudulent and criminally oppressive societal structure is constructed. It is extremely noteworthy that this fraudulent fabric of illusion depends upon a knowingly false narrative regarding the ancient history of the planet, and about the ancient capabilities and origins of humanity. It is also noteworthy that the orangutan system is built around religious dogmas, a literalistic adherence to certain ancient scriptures, and an ideological system that seeks to excuse and condone violence in support of this oppressive system -- to try to cloak that which is criminal and illegitimate in a "veil of legitimacy."

Once again, however, the special skills of the orangutans are not in and of themselves inherently criminal. The orangutans' special expertise is in the interpretation of symbol, in the examination of meaning and legitimacy, in the pursuit of that which gives purpose to existence and in warning against that which is wrong or harmful to oneself or others. 

It is clear that in the twisted, inverted world portrayed in the movie, the orangutans have chosen to use their special skills to divide, to conquer, to oppress, and to deceive. At least some of them know the truth (Dr. Zaius being the most obvious example) but choose to teach lies instead -- perhaps even from a partly-understandable belief that the truth, if known, would lead to chaos or self-destruction (an insufficient excuse for perpetrating fraud, violence, and oppression against others, but one that Dr. Zaius at least seems to believe and which at least partly informs his behavior).

What the orangutans should do with their special skill is use it in the service of the empowering message that the world of symbols was actually designed to convey. There are certain aspects of the invisible realm, of the spiritual side of existence, which can only be properly conveyed or grasped through symbol -- and the orangutans, with their special proclivity for understanding the fact that reality can be created, should be helping individuals to grasp those powerful and liberating truths and pointing them towards greater consciousness, which would almost certainly have profoundly positive effects on society as a whole, far outweighing any imagined danger.

The chimpanzees, of course, have a talent for investigating, for searching for knowledge, for noticing new evidence and analyzing it, for thinking of new and innovative ways to do things, for exploring new and innovative ideas, and also for organizing knowledge and sharing knowledge and recording knowledge and communicating knowledge for the benefit of society. They are actually portrayed doing some of this positive analysis and seeking after knowledge during the original 1968 film, even at some risk to themselves -- but the film clearly implies that the "chimpanzee class" is naturally somewhat fearful, eager to please the orangutans, and in general they are overly-ready to accept the religious and ideological interpretations handed down to them by the orangutans and to support the oppressive social structure that is built upon the orangutans' outright lies about ancient history and the artificial limits the orangutans seek to impose upon the freedom of other apes and of the voiceless masses of the completely dispossessed humans.

The chimpanzees as a whole are essential enablers of the tyrannical system of the orangutans, just as much as are the gorillas. In modern "human" society, we can think of a variety of human talents or aspects of society which correspond to the chimpanzees, including academia, those in the news media, those in middle management at corporations, those in entrepreneurial roles, many of those in public service at government jobs, those employed as bureaucrats in the vast machineries that make modern society run the way it does. 

If members of the media and of academia, for example, actively pursued anomalous evidence the way that Zira and Cornelius are shown to do in the film, the fictions upon which tyrannical oppression is built would dissolve. The gorillas might even begin to question what they were employing their special skill-sets to support. The message might get out that such skill-sets are properly employed only to stop violence, never to perpetrate it on the behalf of some ideology fabricated by orangutans defending their system. Anyone who doubts that the skills and roles denoted in the movie are not critical to systems of tyranny can try to think of any tyrannies in the era of mass media technologies (including radio and printing presses) that have not employed propaganda arms using those media. 

Finally, the humans in the metaphor that operates in the 1968 Planet of the Apes are perhaps the most intriguing of all. Because, just as the film warns us against falling into the trap of being too unquestioning (if acting in the role of the gorillas), too fearful and supportive of evil and fraud (if acting in the role of the chimpanzees), or too cynical to pursue higher consciousness for ourselves and to empower others to do the same (if acting in the role of the orangutans), it seems to also be warning us against accepting a vision of humanity that is completely animal, mindless, irrational, and focused entirely on bare survival and fulfillment of physical needs and functions. 

Of course, the humans in the film can also be seen as those "voiceless" members of society who are marginalized, exploited, and oppressed the most of all -- those who are brutalized by the gorillas, feared and despised by the orangutans, and seen as specimens to be studied or used by the chimpanzees. And that is certainly one aspect of the humans as portrayed in the metaphor of Planet of the Apes, and a powerful condemnation of the history of inhumanity and oppression and marginalization of huge numbers of people who should be allowed to reclaim their proper voice. 

And perhaps this fourth group is the best hope, if they can be empowered to see beyond simple survival and "creature comfort," and if they can reclaim their voice, because unlike the gorillas and the chimpanzees, they are not beneficiaries of the fraudulent tyranny of the orangutans that the gorillas and the chimpanzees are enabling.

But it seems that the humans in the film also represent the tendency in each one of us to forget that special aspect of our existence, of being a mixture of both "animal" and "god" (as Alvin Boyd Kuhn puts it, in some of his discussions of the symbol of the cross, which has a horizontal "animal" or purely physical component, and a vertical "divine" or spiritual component -- see here,

here, and here, for example). Remaining in ignorance or denial of our true human nature leaves us incomplete, and degraded.

The 1968 Planet of the Apes film is not exactly "uplifting" in its tone, but it is possible to perceive a very positive and uplifting message in what we are discussing. This post has focused on the film's unique and very memorable method of illustrating an important truth: that tyranny and injustice cannot really be perpetrated without the cooperation of people who are exercising skills from three different aspects of human nature: skills involving the use of force in actual combat (the gorillas), skills involved in the pursuit of knowledge, and its organization and dissemination (the chimpanzees), and skills involved in the creation of and interpretation of symbols and meaning (the orangutans).

This in itself is an important lesson, but it points to something else as well, and that is the fact that -- because each of these aspects of our own human nature can actually be used in a very positive way -- the entire system that is currently degrading humanity and perpetrating tyranny through fraud and through violence (because of the improper use of the orangutan, gorilla, and chimpanzee skills) could suddenly and smoothly become uplifting and empowering! 

If those with skills in the interpretation of symbols devoted themselves to pointing out the empowering message that the ancient symbols were really meant to teach, and if those with skills in the application of force devoted themselves to protecting innocent people from harm, and if those with skills in seeking knowledge and innovating and discovering devoted themselves to looking at all the possibilities and having the courage to follow the evidence where it leads and the courage to communicate what they have seen, then the upside-down world would be turned back right-side up. 

Of course, there will always be those who choose to try to gain mastery over others through fraud or through violence (or both), but the more "chimpanzees" society has who are ready to look for evidence and analyze it fearlessly and confront and expose falsehood, the more difficult it will be such fraud to remain unchallenged. And the more "gorillas" society has who refuse to use their skills for criminal ends and who instead pledge to use their skills only to stop actual perpetration of violence, the more difficult it will be for violent plots to stand a chance of success. And the more "orangutans" society has who are pointing people to the truth that they can do and be much more than they have ever been told they could accomplish, then the more difficult it will be for those who wish to use techniques of "reality creation" to enslave instead of to liberate and to empower.

Ultimately, this kind of shift will enable humans to be more human, and to exercise both halves of our unique human nature, to "bless" all things by identifying the spirit and seeing them as being more than simply physical, instead of "cursing" them by trying to reduce them to mere objects, lumps of material devoid of spirit.

We could perhaps distill the message of the 1968 Planet of the Apes (at least, the part of its message that we have been examining here) into a paraphrase that sounds something like this:

  • "Wake up, gorillas! Don't perpetrate violence."
  • "Show a little backbone, chimpanzees! Don't enable tyranny or propaganda."
  • "Point to the right Way, orangutans! Don't cynically substitute lies for truth, but instead help to uplift others and point them towards consciousness, which you are supposed to be doing."
  • "Find a voice, humans! Don't allow yourself to be told you are less than who you are."

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!

The name of the Ankh

The name of the Ankh

image: Ankhs carried by (left to right) Set, Isis, and Horus. Wikimedia commons (links herehere, and here).

The previous post explored some of the profound significance of the Ankh and its relation to the symbols of the Djed and the Scarab -- and to the message that we as individual men and women have an unending, spiritual component in addition to the horizontal, animal, and material aspect of our being to which we are currently joined.

That post also touched very briefly upon the amazing linguistic analysis Alvin Boyd Kuhn has provided regarding the word Ankh itself, and his assertion that the "N-K" sound seen in  the word Ankh finds its way into an astonishing array of words still in use today, including Yoga -- a practice whose central purpose clearly involves the "raising of the Djed-column," so to speak.

Alvin Boyd Kuhn lays out this analysis of the name of the Ankh primarily in his short treatise entitled The Esoteric Structure of the Alphabet and its Hidden Mystical Language, a delightful and insightful text which can be read in its entirety online here (among other places), and which can of course also still be obtained in print versions from a variety of sources (click here to go to the Project Gutenberg page for that text, which provides some other digital formats, including pdf).

Kuhn really warms to his theme beginning on page 12 of 88 in that online version linked above (and on page 8 of the facsimile print edition that I use at home, which can be purchased online here or perhaps ordered from your favorite local bookstore), saying:

Nothing has been more revealing than the list of words, in English, Greek, German, Hebrew, which can be traced to the old Egyptian name of this mighty symbol ["this mighty symbol" meaning the Ankh, that is]. Its central idea, it was noted, is the production of life through the tieing or union of spirit and matter. The central clue to the meaning of all these derivatives is the idea of tieing two things together. [He then goes on to explain that the root-sound found in the word Ankh, the "N-K" sound, sometimes found its way into words in the order "K-N," and sometimes the "N-K" is replaced by "N-G" (note that a "G" is linguistically nearly identical to a "K" except that the "G" is voiced where the "K" is not), and hence it is also indicated by "G-N" as well as by "N-G"]. With these specifications it is possible now to discern a whole new world of meaning in many common words never deemed to have come down from so divine a lineage.
It is seen first in such words as anchor, that which ties a boat to a fixed place; knit, knot, link, gnarled, gnaw, gnash (accounting for the odd spelling); ankelosis, a growing together of two bones; anger, anguish, anxiety, a tightening up of feelings. But most interestingly it seems to have given name to at least four joints or hinge-points (hinge itself seems to be another) in the human body: ankle, knee, neck and knuckles. Lung, as being the place where outside air unites with the inner blood, could perhaps be added. Far away as our English join appears to be from a source in A N K H, (N being the only letter common to both), it is certainly directly from it after all. For A N K H was the root of the Latin jungo, to join, N K becoming N G through the Greek. From this we get junction, adjunct, juncture, conjunction, from the Latin past participle of jungo, -- junctus. But in coming into English through the French, all these words were smoothed down to join, joint, and thus carried so far into English as to give us union, which is really junction in its primal form. With even the N dropping out we have yoke, that which ties two oxen together. And in Sanskrit it comes out as yoga, which in reality stands for yonga, meaning union

He then goes on to argue that the very common prefix con- (which means "with" or "together" and which by itself means both of those things in Spanish) comes from the K-N sound and is thus linked to the Ankh. By the same argument, he argues that the extremely versatile English ending -ing derives from the same ancient symbol (this time in the form of N-G). From there, he even argues that the word thing can trace its lineage to the same source.

But is that all? Far from it -- in fact, he's just getting warmed up!

Next comes one that carries an impressive significance in the study, the common verb to know, in Greek gnosco, German kennen, English ken. What constitutes the knowing act? The joining together of two things, consciousness and an object of consciousness, for there must be something apart from consciousness to be known.

Further arguments bring him to cankingangel (the name for the messengers between the heavenly realms and the earthly), anglenook, and of course Gnosis. We could perhaps argue that along with king could be the corresponding word queen, which also contains the K-N sound. As Kuhn explores briefly when discussing the connection between Ankh and king (and we could add, queen), each individual is in some ways a king or queen, "the one who both thinks and knows" as he says: the ruler and sovereign (a word which itself contains the N-G sound, as does reign) of his or her own universe, since each individual is a microcosmic reflection of the macrocosm.

Here Kuhn (whose very surname can itself be seen to contain the K-N combination) leaves off the pursuit in this particular text, but he takes it right up again with even more profound effect in Lost Light (published in 1940 and available online here). There, on page 186 of the version linked in the foregoing sentence, Kuhn provides arguments that the Egyptian tradition of the anointing of Osiris (closely connected to the raising of the Djed-column), and of anointing of the mummy with unguents prior to burial, connects to the A N K H origin as well:

An item of great importance in this ritual was its performance always previous to the burial. It was a rite preparatory to the interment. Said Jesus himself of Mary: "In that she poured this ointment upon my body, she did it to prepare me for my burial" (Matt. 26:12). She was symbolically enacting the Mystery rite of the chrism, and her performance quite definitely matched the previous practices of the Egyptians, from whom it was doubtless derived. But what does such an act denote in the larger interpretation here formulated? If the burial was the descent of the gods into bodily forms, then the anointing must have been enacted immediately antecedent to it or in direct conjunction of it. The etymology of the word sheds much light upon this whole confused matter. The "oint" portion of it is of course the French softening of the Latin "unct" stem; and this, whether philologists have yet discovered the connection or not, is derived from that mighty symbol of mingled divinity and humanity of ancient Egypt -- the A N K H cross. The word Ankh, meaning love, life and tie, or life as the result of tying together by attraction or love the two nodes of life's polarity, spirit and matter, suggests always and fundamentally the incarnation. For this is the "ankh-ing" of the two poles of being everywhere basic to life. The "unction" of the sacrament is really just the "junction" of the two life energies, with the "j" left off the word. Therefore the "anointing" is the pouring of the "oil of gladness," the spiritual nature, upon the mortal nature of living man. The "unguents" of the mummification were the types of the shining higher infusion, and they prepared the soul for, or were integrally a part of, its burial in the grave of mortality. And the Messiah was then crucified in the flesh.

In other words, Kuhn is here arguing that the scriptures are really teaching that the incarnation of every man and every woman is a form of "crucifixion in the flesh" (that is, the pinning down into a body of a spirit), the joining or ankh-ing or yoking of spirit and matter (or spirit upon a cross of matter). This teaching is depicted in the very form of the Ankh, and in words derived from the N-K sound. The act of anointing for burial was a depiction of the teaching that each human life consists of a divine element (represented by the anointing, the unguent, the "oil of gladness" which Kuhn comes right out and defines as "the spiritual nature") poured down upon (and in fact buried within) the body (the mortal, material, and animal part of our earthly existence). 

This explanation is central to his argument that the interpretation of the story of the Christ is that it is always meant to teach of and point to the "Christ in you" (that is to say, in each and every individual) and not to a literal figure (an argument he makes throughout Lost Light , as well as its companion volume Who is this King of Glory?). If this argument is correct, then we can see that the "raising of the Djed column," could be seen (according to such a teaching) as central to our human existence in this incarnation: the process of remembering our status as king (or queen); of knowing and achieving Gnosis; or even of anointing our physical, horizontal, and animal nature with the "vertical component" of the Ankh-cross -- that is to say, our spiritual or even divine aspect -- and in doing so to raise it up.

Whether or not one accepts that this teaching is in fact an accurate depiction of our human condition, the linguistic connections that Kuhn finds between words such as Yogaunctionangel and Gnosis to the Ankh itself -- and the conceptual connections between these words and the others to the message conveyed by the symbology of the Ankh -- are quite compelling.

To add even more strength to his arguments, we can in fact suggest even more words which appear to have strong linguistic connection to the word Ankh, and which are in fact words which connect to the idea of the joining of the material and the physical natures, or to the "raising" of the spiritual consciousness within our human nature that we have seen is central to the "message of the Ankh."

You may have thought of some of these yourself already, as you have been reading along. How about the word Annunaki, the beings from the celestial realm who apparently joined themselves to the daughters of men?  At this time, I personally believe that this episode was intended to teach the same esoteric concept that has been outlined above (the teaching that we are a mixture of divine spirit and material flesh), and not intended to be understood literally (see previous posts here and here on that subject), although some believe that it refers to a literal event. Either way, the name of these beings,

Annunaki, can most certainly be argued to be connected to the word Ankh.

Another one which is almost certainly linguistically related is the name of the amazing complex of Angkor Wat, which Graham Hancock has demonstrated to be precisely 72 degrees of longitude east of the Giza pyramids in Egypt, and hence deliberately connected to Egypt (72, of course, being one of the most important precessional numbers). Would it not be too far a stretch to suggest that, given this clear longitudinal connection between the sites, and given the fact that the word Angkor begins with an "Ankh," that Angkor Wat was intended to be (like the sacred sites of Egypt) a "place where men and women became gods"?

While we are on the subject of precessional numbers, I have pointed out before (in my first book

and in previous blog posts such as this onethis one, and this one) that the martial arts of China are replete with precessional numbers. Given the fact just discussed, that Giza in Egypt (source of our knowledge of the Ankh) and Angkor Wat are separated by a significant precessional number, is it not possible that the name by which the Chinese martial arts are widely known, that is to say Kung Fu or Gung Fu, contains the K-N (and the N-G) sound which Alvin Boyd Kuhn believed to be connected to the Ankh? 

Critics may argue that there cannot possibly be any linguistic connection between China and ancient Egypt, and that the name Kung Fu is a Cantonese name (Guangdongwa) and that in Mandarin or Poutongwa the art is typically called WuShu. However, if we accept the possibility that the word Yoga  itself is connected to the concept of the Ankh (and the practice of Yoga can certainly be argued to be related to the concept of "raising the spiritual" in conjunction with the physical), then it certainly seems to be a strong possibility that the practice of Kung Fu is also related to the same concept. And, in fact, there are very strong traditions in China itself that Kung Fu anciently came from India and is indeed related in some ways to the practice of Yoga. It should also be pointed out that technically, the terms Kung Fu (and Yoga) refer to a far broader set of practices and disciplines than they are popularly understood to mean (those terms are traditionally applied to a whole set of other forms of "work" or "discipline" than just to fighting movements or yoga asanas, in other words).

Other names which fit Alvin Boyd Kuhn's thesis include Angola in Africa, the name of which country is apparently derived from the title given to the kings who ruled in that land, the ngola. Along the same lines, it might even be argued that there could be a connection to the name of the Hmong people, among whom the surname Nguyen is very common. 

Another, much more amazing connection might be suggested with the civilization of the Inca, whose name can most certainly be argued to have linguistic similarity to the name of the Ankh. Most revealing is the fact that the Inca themselves did not refer to their empire or their people as "the Inca," but that this name is derived (as with the land of Angola) from the name of the kings of that civilization, who were called in their language the Inka. This fact fits the arguments of Alvin Boyd Kuhn perfectly, although to my knowledge he never mentioned it. It would seem to provide strong linguistic support to the enormous piles of other evidence pointing to ancient contact across the oceans (as well as the possibility of an ancient common predecessor civilization predating both -- the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive in this case).

There are no doubt many others which I have not thought of yet, but which you have been yelling at the screen as completely obvious: feel free to share them with me and with others through the medium of Facebook or Twitter (or through your own publication and discussion of this subject, if you have your own blog or other outlet).

And, while remaining alert to the manifestations of the incredibly important Ankh around the world, perhaps it is even more important to consider the message that this ancient sign was intended to convey, and to work to raise and anoint our individual consciousness and individual sovereignty, perhaps through Yoga, or Kung Fu, or some other path . . .

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Some reflections on my recent Project Camelot interview, and the errors of Zechariah Sitchin

Some reflections on my recent Project Camelot interview, and the errors of Zechariah Sitchin

Having now re-listened to my recent interview on  Project Camelot, the thing that struck me the most about my interview is the fact that it seems to have devolved into a tug-of-war between my attempts to explain an esoteric theory, and the interviewer's desire to turn the conversation back to what I would classify as the literalistic.

The entire thrust of my theory centers around the following points: 

  • That the ancient scriptures from cultures around the world are esoteric, and that in fact they all follow a unified esoteric system of celestial allegory (some clear and examples of this system can be found in this previous blog post and in the posts linked therein, as well as in the first three chapters of my book, which are available online here).
  • That this ancient system of "star myths" can be shown to contain evidence of a view of the universe that includes the amazing concept that the material world which we inhabit is actually a sort of projection of information existing in a "hidden realm" (or "seed realm") -- a concept that the recent Lego Movie actually dramatizes in a very amusing way, and a concept which theoretical physicists in the twentieth century began to articulate as the "holographic universe" model in response to some of the evidence from what we now label "quantum physics."
  • That the ancient sacred traditions make it clear that it is not only possible for the human consciousness to cross over the boundary between these two realms (what we would today call the shamanic journey) but that it is in some ways essential (see for instance the quotation from Mircea Eliade in the previously-linked post discussing the Lego Movie, as well as posts such as this one and this one). This ability can be described in terms of breaking through the artificial boundaries of an "illusory reality" and of creating "new realities," as described most powerfully by Jon Rappoport in much of his work.
  • That this ancient wisdom appears to have been a legacy of some extremely advanced "predecessor civilization" about which we know very little and about which at this time we can know very little, as they left no written records but only incredibly intriguing monuments located at significant points all around our planet -- monuments which clearly suggest that they knew the size and shape of our spherical earth. While it is certainly possible that these monuments indicate contact with beings from other planets or star systems, it is by no means necessary to conclude that, nor have I to this day seen evidence which definitively points towards such a conclusion. 
  • This ancient shamanic wisdom appears to have been in full operation right up until the time of the creation of literalist Christianity, which rejected the esoteric nature of the scriptural texts and replaced them with a literalistic hermeneutic (including the most central doctrine of literalist Christianity, the incarnation of a literal Christ figure, as opposed to the esoteric understanding of a "Christ in you," the teaching of the divine spark incarnated in each man and woman which all the esoteric ancient myths can be shown to teach, discussed in previous posts such as this one and this one and this one). 
  • There is strong evidence that the imposition of literalist Christianity was accomplished by a specific set of historical circumstances involving the arrival among the highest circles of power in the Roman Empire of a group of people who understood about the shamanic "creation of reality" described above, and their subsequent takeover of that Roman Empire (through the twin vehicles of Mithraism and literalist Christianity). They then created the institutions of religious power and political power that would control western Europe right up to the present day . . . and would spread overseas to impact the rest of the world, with catastrophic results for many previously-shamanic cultures.  

Thus, the concept of the esoteric (and shamanic) nature of the ancient myths is absolutely central to my thesis. Unfortunately, the conversation was never allowed to delve into the esoteric, because although I tried to head towards the esoteric from my very first comments in the interview (referencing the "esoteric" nature of Montessori, which I believe to be a good example of the purpose of the esoteric technique), none of the esoteric subjects that I tried to raise, including examples which demonstrate that the Bible is composed of star-myth from first to last, which is not just a nice theory but can be shown to be absolutely incontestable or the fact that the undeniable connection between numerous ancient goddesses (including Ishtar) and lions strongly suggests that these myths are talking about the zodiac (where the constellation of Virgo follows the constellation of Leo) were explored with any follow-up questions or conversation.

Instead, the conversation was steered more than once towards whether or not I subscribed to the theories of Zechariah Sitchin, and (related to that) whether my esoteric approach has room for literal interpretations at the same time.

As I tried to explain during the interview and will explain a bit further below, I do not subscribe to the theories of Zechariah Sitchin, and the primary reason that I do not is that Zechariah Sitchin's hermeneutic is a literalistic hermeneutic, and I believe it is mistaken. He interprets the ancient scriptures (in this case, the myths of ancient Sumer and Babylon, but also the Old Testament scriptures which contain parallels to the myths of Sumer and Babylon) as describing literal history. Although the literal history that he believes the ancient myths (including those of the Bible) describe is a different history from that which most adherents to historic literalistic Christianity in its various permutations have taught down through the centuries since the takeover described above (a takeover which was essentially completed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine), his books nevertheless take the ancient myths to primarily describe actual ancient history.

He does not interpret the events described in those myths esoterically.

For example, on page 171 of his first book The Twelfth Planet (published in 1976), Sitchin writes  the following in his discussion of a famous passage in Genesis chapter 6 (I will put all of the passages from Sitchin's book in blue, so that the reader can clearly distinguish between his writing and my comments upon his writing):

the sons of the gods
saw the daughters of man, that they were good;
and they took them for wives,
of all which they chose.
The implications of these verses, and the parallels to the Sumerian tales of gods and their sons and grandsons, and of semidivine offspring resulting from cohabitation between gods and mortals, mount further as we continue to read the biblical verses:
The Nefilim were upon the Earth
in those days and thereafter too,
when the sons of the gods
cohabited with the daughters of the Adam,
and they bore children unto them.
They were the mighty ones of Eternity -- 
The People of the shem.
The above is not a traditional translation. For a long time, the expression "The Nefilim were upon the Earth" has been translated as "There were giants upon the earth"; but recent translators, recognizing the error, have simply resorted to leaving the Hebrew term Nefilim intact in the translation. The verse "The people of the shem," as one could expect, has been taken to mean "the people who have a name," and, thus, "the people of renown." But as we have already established, the term shem must be taken in its original meaning -- a rocket, a rocket ship.
What, then, does the term Nefilim mean? Stemming from the Semitic root NFL ("to be cast down"), it means exactly what it says: It means those who were cast down upon Earth!

Clearly, Sitchin in the above discussion is taking the passage to be a literal account of some beings who physically came from another planet to this planet. That this is Sitchin's interpretation is completely clear from the rest of that book, and the fourteen others he wrote. Later in the same book there is a chapter entitled "Landing on Earth," and details such as the following descriptions:

Based on complex technical data, as well as hints in Mesopotamian texts, it appears that the Nefilim adopted for their Earth missions the same approach NASA adopted for the Moon missions: When the principal spaceship neared the target planet (Earth), it went into orbit around that planet without actually landing. Instead, a smaller craft was released from the mother ship and performed the actual landing.
As difficult as accurate landings were, the departures from Earth must have been even trickier. The landing craft had to rejoin its mother ship, which then had to fire up its engines and accelerate to extremely high speeds, for it had to catch up with the Twelfth Planet, which by then was passing its perigee between Mars and Jupiter at its top orbital speed. 281-282.

Clearly, a credible demonstration that the myths of ancient Sumer and Babylon (as well as the accounts in Genesis) were primarily descriptions of the motions of the sun, moon and planets among the background of the zodiac stars (the sun, moon, and planets always move through the zodiac band, along a pathway known as the ecliptic) could be seen as very damaging to the literalistic interpretation of the myths that Sitchin is offering in the above quotations and throughout the rest of his other books. 

I believe that such a demonstration is possible: in fact, I have offered such a demonstration in my own two books. 

In my first book, the Mathisen Corollary, I have an entire chapter on the Gilgamesh series of texts, demonstrating that the events and adventures described in the Gilgamesh epic primarily concern the motions of the planets among the zodiac band, as well as the motions of the great central axis of the sky which pierces the north celestial pole and which can be seen to have become "unhinged" due to the motion of precession

A few examples of evidence supporting such an assertion include the fact that Gilgamesh chops down the "tallest cedar in the forest" (the one whose top pierces the sky) and then uses it to fashion a special door, one "through which only gods can pass" (a clear reference to the gate of the equinox, where the ecliptic path crosses the celestial equator, encoded as a gate in numerous ancient myths from  cultures around the world -- and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon is almost certainly such a symbol as well, since Ishtar is almost certainly Virgo, and since the sign of Virgo occupies the point of the fall equinox), as well as the fact that Gilgamesh slays the Bull of Heaven and then throws the haunch of the bull in Ishtar's (or Inanna's) face (an event with clear celestial implications, as Taurus the Bull is a prominent zodiac constellation, and the haunch or "hindquarters" of the Bull was an ancient myth-code for the Big Dipper in both ancient Egypt and in the symbology of Mithraism). 

In my more recent book, The Undying Stars, I spent quite a bit of time demonstrating that the stories in both the Old and New Testament are also star-myths. Included is an extended discussion of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve and the Serpent, with clear connections to specific constellations and their motions across the sky. This story was not intended to describe a literal event, but is an esoteric allegory, as were other events discussed by Sitchin as if they were literal history (a literal Noah, taught agriculture for the first time after the flood by the alien visitors figures prominently in Sitchin's imagined history [see for instance his Twelfth Planet, page 413], but I demonstrate that Noah is a counterpart of other flood-surviving figures in other mythologies who are clearly connected to a specific figure in the zodiac, and that their agricultural endeavors can be clearly linked to the symbols associated with that zodiac figure).

The very "descent" of the Nephilim, "cast down" to dwell upon earth, can be demonstrated to have a very clear esoteric and allegorical meaning: these passages describe our human condition in our incarnate state! 

As discussed at length in my book, and in numerous previous posts (many of which have been linked above), the ancient scriptures of the human race were so insistent on allegorizing the motions of the stars in part because they saw the plunge of the stars from the ether of heaven into the earthy or watery horizon (the western horizon) as the perfect metaphor for our incarnate condition: we are each carriers of a divine spark (our individual spirit) which has been plunged into a material body made up of "earth and water" (the "clay" out of which Adam was fashioned in Genesis). We are the Nephilim! We are the ones who came down from the world of spirit, enticed or seduced by the receptive (that is to say, allegorically speaking, female) world of matter. The very word "matter" (as many have pointed out) contains a feminine connotation, related as it is to the word mater or "mother" (as in, "Mother Earth").

This esoteric interpretation of the passage from Genesis 6 would seem to rather undermine the entire thesis of Zechariah Sitchin. 

As I said in the interview, I believe it is commendable to note that our ancient history on this planet is almost certainly very different from what we are taught by the conventional historical paradigm.  To the degree that Sitchin realized this, and sought an answer that was different from that forced down our throats by the proponents of conventional history (in spite of the criticism that was leveled at him for doing so), I believe his efforts can be seen as commendable (as long as they were honest efforts, and not intentionally deceptive, in that they read as literal texts which clearly are not intended to be taken literally).

However, I believe his literalistic approach was wrong, and that the myths he used to fashion his theories can be clearly demonstrated to be metaphorical and esoteric.

I also believe that, to the extent one follows the literalistic theories of Zechariah Sitchin, one will miss the real shamanic-holographic message that the ancient myths are intended to teach -- as surely as one will miss it through the literalistic hermeneutic imposed by conventional forms of Christianity since the second century AD (and especially since the fourth century and the reign of Constantine). 

I can only hope that, in my most recent interview, the constant steering of the conversation away from the esoteric had nothing to do with a desire to avoid getting into the shamanic and holographic truths of the ancient myths. Whatever the reason behind it, the unfortunate thing is that we never did get to discuss that subject to any significant degree at all.

At the top of this post is an image from an ancient Babylonian cylinder-seal. I have never analyzed this seal before, but to one who is familiar with the system of celestial allegory present in the world's mythologies, certain interpretations suggest themselves, and I would hazard to point them out as yet another example of the fact that the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian art and myth was primarily describing zodiac figures (as part of a profound spiritual allegory, and not as a description of the flight paths of ancient alien visitors):

In the above version of the same seal (the resolution is higher in the image at the top of the post, and you can find the original image here), I have added my own labels. This interpretation may not be correct (I just looked at this particular seal for the first time today), but I would be willing to defend this interpretation and can offer more back-up evidence for the above labels (from other myth systems around the world) than I have time or space to offer here.  

Very briefly, it is quite evident that we are probably looking at a zodiacal metaphor from the fact that the figure under the foot of the man on the far right of the seal is bull-like (despite its anthropomorphic face). It has bull-horns on its head, and a reclining bovine body. It is probably Taurus, as will be supported in the further analysis below.

The figure with its foot upon the back of this bull-like being is probably the Sun itself. This figure is holding out a cutting implement with his right hand. As Alvin Boyd Kuhn demonstrates, and as I discuss in The Undying Stars, the sun was allegorized in ancient myth as an axe or cleaver, because it cuts a path across the sky. This symbol of the solar axe is prevalent in ancient Minoan art, for example, but also in other cultures as well.

The first figure in the procession of figures coming in from the left of the image is holding in his hands some kind of smaller animal, as if offering it to the figure on the far right whom I have identified as the personification of the Sun. This animal appears to resemble a sheep and probably signifies the sign of Aries. 

The fact that the cleaver or cutting-tool of the Sun is positioned between the bull-animal (which is being trod down) and the lamb-animal (which is being offered) probably indicates the "crossing point" of the spring equinox, and the advent of the precessional Age of Aries. The Age of Aries followed the Age of Taurus, which is why the bull in the seal is being stepped on (debased or put down -- his precessional Age is over). This imagery was likewise featured in the Mithraic temples (in Mithraic iconography, the Bull was being slain).

If the order of the imagery as we go from right to left is correctly identified as going from Taurus to Aries, then the next sign as we proceed would be Pisces. Here we see a woman-figure, rather than the two fish we would expect for Pisces. This seems to be a problem for this interpretation! But look at the way the woman is holding her hands, up and parallel to one another -- very representative of the constellation Pisces. And, in fact, Alvin Boyd Kuhn has convincingly demonstrated that ancient mythological allegory depicted the annual zodiac year as having not one but two mothers: one at Virgo and one at Pisces (the two signs just before the equinoxes). See his discussion in Lost Light on pages 14 and 15, for instance. Thus, the woman with her two hands in a gesture suggestive of the two fish of the constellation Pisces may well be identified with that zodiac sign, especially since she is in the correct location if the two animals are indeed Taurus and then Aries (going from right to left).

Behind her, we see another figure, striding along and holding a sort of baton in such a way that it seems to be pointing into his side. I have labeled this Aquarius, which is correct if we are right about Taurus and Aries: Pisces would come next (the woman with her hands raised parallel) and then Aquarius behind Pisces. There are good and cogent reasons to believe that this man behind the Pisces figure is indeed Aquarius -- not least that mysterious baton going into his side.

Whether you agree with the above interpretation or not, I believe it is very likely the correct interpretation of the Babylonian seal. In any case, it is a far more likely and a far more supportable interpretation than that the figures represent space aliens. I would argue that other seals from ancient Babylon and Sumer, which Sitchin uses in his analysis to support his case, are more likely allegorical and zodiacal (or planetary, in some cases) than literal.

I believe that the bigger lesson here is that one cannot use the events described in scriptures to try to support literal histories: the events described in the ancient myths are esoteric and allegorical, and not literal. It is not surprising that many look towards a literal interpretation of some sort, almost as a first instinct: that is the way they have been interpreted in western culture since the Roman Empire and the dawn of literalistic Christianity, an approach which has powerfully shaped western civilization since the second, third, and fourth centuries AD.

But, I believe it is an approach which has distracted and diverted us from the real message of the ancients, and the real treasure hidden in the ancient wisdom of the world's mythologies: the shamanic message, and a message of breaking out of the limitations of a false reality and creating new and positive realities to change things for the better. 

It is too bad that this literalistic tendency was able to divert and distract the course of my recent interview, to the point that we never really discussed that shamanic message, that reality-creating message. To that degree, the interview was reflective of much of western history for the past seventeen centuries.

Did Vedism come from ancient Egypt (a), vice versa (b), or did they both come from Atlantis (c)?
































images: Wikimedia commons (Osiris link and Vishnu link).

Pop quiz (that you will never be given within the halls of academia):

Choose the best answer:
a) Vedism came from the sacred myths of ancient Egypt.
b) The sacred myths of ancient Egypt came from Vedism.
c) They both came from some even earlier, now unknown predecessor civilization (which, for want of a better term, some have called "Atlantis").
d) None of the above.

Notice that choice d) is the default position of current academia, which admits to no contact between the ancient cultures of the world, in spite of the fact that all of them can be shown to use a common, detailed, sophisticated system of celestial metaphor which almost certainly did not spring up independently with all of its details intact in multiple different cultures around the world, none of whom had any contact with one another. 

Therefore, we can immediately eliminate choice d) and concentrate on the other three. Those who still wish to cling to choice d) should find evidence below to eliminate that choice beyond the shadow of a doubt.

The Shatapatha Brahmana or Satapatha Brahmana is one of the ancient sacred texts of the Vedic period, thought to date to at least 700 BC, although Vedism stretches back in time still further, to as early as 1750 BC or even earlier. The translation of the entire text into English by Julius Eggeling (completed between 1882 and 1900) can be found online here.

An important and revealing series of events described in the fourteenth book of the Shatapatha Brahmana provides clear and powerful connections to the myth-cycle of Osiris, and to other star-myths from around the world. The first section of Book XIV of the Shatapatha Brahmana can be found here

At first, it may seem bewildering in the obscurity of its arcane-sounding declarations and descriptions. But meditate upon the text for a while, armed with an understanding of the system of celestial metaphor common to the sacred myth-systems from Africa to Australia, from the Norse to the North American Indian, and from Achaia (ancient Greece) to Aotearoa (New Zealand), and fascinating connections will begin to assert themselves, and divine voices will whisper meanings that previously were hidden from sight.

The text immediately declares, in the first verse (14:1:1:1) that what follows is "a sacrificial session." Beginning in verse 5, we learn of the sacrifice of Vishnu (words in parentheses are clarifications added by the translator -- one may or may not agree with his decisions):
5 Vishnu first attained it, and he became the most excellent of the gods; whence people say, 'Vishnu is the most excellent of the gods.'
6 Now he who is this Vishnu is the sacrifice; and he who is this sacrifice is yonder Aditya (the sun). But, indeed, Vishnu was unable to control that (love of) glory of his; and so even now not every one can control that (love of) glory of his. 
7 Taking his bow, together with three arrows, he stepped forth. He stood, resting his head on the end of the bow. Not daring to attack him, the gods sat themselves down all around him.
8 Then the ants said -- these ants (vamri), doubtless, were that (kind called) 'upadika' -- 'What would ye give to him who should gnaw the bowstring?' -- 'We would give him the (constant) enjoyment of food, and he would find water even in the desert: so we would give him every enjoyment of food.' -- 'So be it,' they said.
9 Having gone nigh unto him, they gnawed his bowstring. When it was cut, the ends of the bow, springing asunder, cut off Vishnu's head.
10 It fell with (the sound) 'ghrin;' and on falling it became yonder sun. And the rest (of the body) lay stretched out (with the top part) towards the east. And inasmuch as it fell with (the sound) 'ghrin,' therefore Gharma (was called) and inasmuch as he was stretched out (pra-vrig), therefrom the Pravargya (took its name).
11 The gods spake, 'Verily, our great hero (mahan virah) has fallen:' therefrom the Mahavira pot (was named). And the vital sap which flowed from him they wiped up (sam-mrig) with their hands, whence the Samrag.
[. . .]
20 Now this was heard by the Ashvins -- 'Verily, Dadhyank Atharvana knows his pure essence, this Sacrifice, -- how his head of the Sacrifice is put on again, how this Sacrifice becomes complete.'
21 They went up to him and said, 'We two will become thy pupils.' -- 'What are ye wishing to learn?' he asked. -- 'This pure essence, this Sacrifice, -- how this head of the Sacrifice is put on again, how this Sacrifice becomes complete,' they replied.
22 He said, 'I was spoken to by Indra saying, "If thou teachest this to any one else, I shall cut off thy head;" therefore I am afraid lest he should indeed cut off my head: I cannot take you as my pupils.'
23 They said, 'We two shall protect thee from him.' -- 'How will ye protect me?' he replied. -- They said, 'When thou wilt have received us as thy pupils, we shall cut off thy head and put it aside elsewhere; then we shall fetch the head of a horse, and put it on thee: therewith thou wilt teach us; and when thou wilt have taught us, then Indra will cut off that head of thine; and we shall fetch thine own head, and put it on thee again.' -- 'So be it,' he replied.
Now, this is certainly a difficult series of metaphors. But, if one reads The Undying Stars and pays careful attention to the discussion of the zodiac metaphors found for example in the New Testament of the Bible, the entire scenario should begin to become quite clear. I would argue that this exchange involves the mighty "cross" of the year, described in this previous post from Summer Solstice 2014

We have already seen that the line dividing the zodiac wheel horizontally -- the line connecting the two equinoxes -- is associated in myths the world over with sacrifice. See for example this previous post, as well as the discussion found in the first three chapters of The Undying Stars, available for preview online. It was at the point of the autumnal equinox that the dying god was "cast down," and depicted in ancient Egypt as the god Osiris in his mummy-casket, lying upon his back: stretched out horizontally. He was the sun in the "underworld" -- the part of the zodiac wheel below the line.



On the other hand, at the point of the winter solstice, the sun that has been toiling through the "underworld" of the lower half of the zodiac makes its annual turn and begins to ascend back towards the summer solstice. The ancient Egyptian myth-symbols represented this as the "raising of the mummy of Osiris" from the horizontal (cast down) position to the vertical (raised up) position, as explained by Alvin Boyd Kuhn in passages cited in the previously-linked discussion of the summer solstice.

This imagery was among the most potent and the most powerful in all of the ancient sacred system: it was the image of the raising of the Djed column (the backbone of Osiris, in ancient Egypt), the image of the dead ascending again to life. It was the imagery of the Ankh cross: the reassertion of the divine aspect in every man or woman, which is buried like a dying or cast-down god inside the horizontal or "animal" nature of our incarnate body (animals, as Alvin Boyd Kuhn points out, go around horizontally, while men and women are supposed to walk erect).

With this understanding, the cryptic passage from the Shatapatha Brahmana cited above begins to resolve itself into something quite understandable, and quite powerful: the passage is describing Vishnu undergoing the very same "sacrifice" as the sacrifice Osiris undergoes, his casting down into the underworld and his being stretched out in death, and then his subsequent triumphant rising and transcending.

In the verses leading up to verse 10, we read of Vishnu's beheading, which involves his first leaning his head on his bow in rest (verse 7). This "resting of his head" on his upright bow indicates that we are talking about a solstice position, where the sun "stands still" for three days (the word solstice itself acknowledges this phenomenon -- it means "sun station" or "sun stationary point"). For an explanation of why the sun seems to "stand still" at the solstice, see this previous post. The fact that Vishnu is described as taking "three arrows" at this point certainly seems to invoke the three-days during which the sun seems to rest at each solstice.

Looking at the zodiac wheel diagram above, we can see which solstice the sacred Vedic myths reference here: it is the solstice associated with the Archer: the winter solstice (which in the northern hemisphere takes place at the juncture between the signs of Sagittarius and Capricorn, as can be seen in the diagram: Sagittarius is just barely visible, peeking out behind the caption that says "Vertical column: the Djed raised up"). This is the lowest point of the year, when the Sun is most truly at the very "grave."

It is at this point that we read about the ants, who decide to gnaw the bowstring, causing the ends of Vishnu's bow to spring asunder, cutting off his head (verses 8 and 9). The cutting off of Vishnu's head would seem to represent the sun at winter solstice, where the head of the sun has "fallen" to its lowest point of the year (it rises furthest south along the eastern horizon, and sets furthest south along the western horizon). The ants may be representative of Sagittarius as well: the stars of Sagittarius were often anciently described as resembling a locust -- most clearly, in the New Testament book of Revelation chapter 9 (see this previous post). So, the ants in the Shatapatha Brahmana may well be an embodiment of this rather insect-like zodiac constellation also, and their action of "decapitating" Vishnu an expression of this part of the sun's annual journey. In reality, the sun's "head" has been "falling" towards this lowest point ever since it began to decline downward from the top of the zodiac, and most certainly ever since it crossed the "sacrifice" line of the fall equinox, but it reaches the bottom of the wheel just after passing through the sign of Sagittarius.

In verse 10, we read of the laid-out body of the now-headless Vishnu: it lies stretched out towards the east. This is very reminiscent of the laid-out body of Osiris (the sun in the underworld), lying inert in the land of the dead. Note that the progress of the sun through the underworld begins at the western horizon and proceeds all the way to the eastern horizon, where the sun is reborn and where it springs triumphantly again into the heavens. Thus it is quite appropriate that the Shatapatha Brahmana specifically tells us that Vishnu's body lay stretched out with its "top part" towards the east (verse 10).

Following this comes another passage, in which we have the hero-twins the Ashvins approaching the horse-headed Dadhyank or Dadhyanc, and cutting off his head and then fetching it back and putting it on him again (verses 20 through 23). 

This all seems very mysterious, but the zodiac clues are unmistakable. The Ashvins are clearly associated with the Twins of Gemini (there are numerous commentaries in which this identification is explicitly drawn). Look again at the zodiac wheel diagram reproduced above, and note which sign is opposite to Sagittarius (who guards the lower base of the vertical line or column which connects the two solstices from the bottom of the year to the top). Why, it is the Twins of Gemini! By invoking the horse-headed Atharvana (a Seer or a Rishi) and the Twins, the sacred scriptures are indicating the line of the vertical solstice-column as clearly as it is possible to indicate it.

This line, as has already been discussed in the Summer Solstice 2014 post (supported by the analysis of Alvin Boyd Kuhn and Gerald Massey), is indicative of the triumphant Djed-column or Tat-Cross raised to its feet: Osiris raised from the dead, the divine life-spirit triumphant over the dead-matter of the animal body.

The case for the identification of Vishnu with Osiris, at least in this passage from the Shatapatha Brahmana, should now be complete. Additional evidence can be found in the fact that Vishnu is often traditionally depicted with blue-tinged skin, just as Osiris (the mummy-god) was often depicted with blue or green skin (since he is a corpse). Other common symbolic elements in their depiction can be seen in the juxtaposed images of the two gods, above. 

Last but certainly not least, the Rishi Dadhyank mentioned in the texts cited above is closely associated with a special weapon known as Vajra, which resembles a column and in fact resembles in many ways the sacred Djed column of ancient Egypt and Osiris. There are Vedic texts which indicate that the Vajra was originally fashioned from the bones of the horse-headed Dadhyank, as the authors of Hamlet's Mill attest (page 393).

So, to return to our original question: did the ancient Vedic texts take their inspiration from the ancient Egyptian myths, or vice versa? Or, were they inspired by some common, now unknown, predecessor civilization? 

To argue that all these incredibly precise details (details which are common to the ancient star-myth system found in myths and sacred stories around the world) just "popped up" independently in cultures with no contact or no common ancestor seems ridiculous on its face. It certainly violates Occam's proverbial razor. It is a possibility, but it is probably the least likely by a long shot (although it is the only alternative that is generally countenanced among academics).

If we had to say that one came from the other, we would probably conclude that Egypt must have influenced the Vedic texts, since the mythology of Osiris appears to have been fully formed long before the first Pyramid Texts were inscribed, the earliest of which date to c. 2400 BC (probably even predating the Vedic texts). But, we really have no way of knowing how long the sacred Vedic myths were passed down before they found their way into the very ancient texts of Vedic literature. Nor do we know how long the Egyptian star-myths were passed down before they informed the events described in the Pyramid Texts. 

Given the tremendous antiquity of each tradition, it is quite likely that the real answer to the question posed at the outset of this post is "c) the myth-imagery in the Vedic system and the Egyptian system each came from some even earlier, now unknown predecessor civilization (which, for want of a better term, some have called Atlantis*)." The fact that the myths share clear evidence of common symbology, and yet are so different in their outward trappings, also seems to argue that they both developed from some more-remote common ancestral culture, rather than that one borrowed from the other.

There is other evidence around the globe which suggests the existence of a predecessor civilization of tremendous antiquity, tremendous sophistication, world-wide reach, and possibly advanced technological ability. However, as discussed towards the end of this previous post, the current Presidents of the Academy, the Ministers of Science and Defenders of the Faith, are as loath to admit the possibility of such a civilization as the orangutans from the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes, whose most capable spokesman was the unforgettable Dr. Zaius, were loath to admit (publicly) the possibility of an advanced human civilization prior to the rise of the apes (even though Dr. Zaius admitted privately that he had long been aware of the evidence which pointed to such a civilization).

The evidence, however, is all around us on our planet, not only in the archaeological remains but also in the ancient myths in one culture after another after another. It is too much evidence to deny, and it is too much evidence to ignore.

If you answered c) to the question above, I'm with you.




-------------------------------

* Use of the term "Atlantis" to describe an advanced predecessor civilization now lost to history does not necessarily imply belief in a sinking island of mythology. John Anthony West offers a good explanation of his use of this term in his essential Serpent in the Sky, on pages 13-14:
How does a complex civilization spring full-blown into being? Look at a 1905 automobile and compare it to a modern one. There is no mistaking the process of 'development.' But in Egypt there are no parallels. Everything is there right at the start. 
The answer to the mystery is of course obvious, but because it is repellent to the prevailing cast of modern thinking, it is seldom seriously considered. Egyptian civilisation was not a 'development', it was a legacy.
Following an observation made by Schwaller de Lubicz, it is now possible virtually to prove the existence of another, and perhaps greater civilization ante-dating dynastic Egypt -- and all other known civilizations -- by millennia. In other words, it is now possible to prove 'Atlantis', and simultaneously, the historical reality of the Biblical Flood. (I use inverted commas around 'Atlantis' since it is not the physical location that is at issue here, but rather the existence of a civilization sufficiently sophisticated and sufficiently ancient to give rise to the legend.)  

Paging Dr. Zaius



above: 1968 film trailer for Planet of the Apes (link).

The original 1968 film Planet of the Apes received an honorary Academy Award for the amazing makeup used to create the expressive ape characters (the human actors shine through in a way that is truly wonderful to behold, while at the same time looking spellbindingly simian), as well as nominations for Best Costume Design (the costumes create a blend of dignity and cool for the cynical orangutans, a blend of utility and academia in the earnest chimpanzees, and a feeling of raw menace in the militaristic gorillas) and Best Original Score (for a remarkably unsettling musical soundtrack that sets your teeth on edge from the outset and keeps them there for the remainder of the film).

But as outstanding as all those achievements truly were, and as essential a role as that artistry played in creating the disturbingly immersive world of the screenplay, to praise the 1968 Planet of the Apes merely for its groundbreaking effects, makeup, and music misses what I believe to be the film's towering achievement in the epistemological realm.

To be fair, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does not actually have an Oscar category for "Best Epistemological Film," although they do not have an Oscar for "Best Makeup" either, and that didn't stop them from awarding an honorary award for John Chambers (1922 - 2001) for his makeup effects in the film (he was also the makeup legend responsible for Mr. Spock's signature ears). The film deserves to be recognized in the "search for truth" department, because in addition to all its other memorable and ground-breaking aspects, its real theme centers around the question: "Do we have the courage to face the truth?"

The movie gets right into that theme with the important lead-in sequences, after the ship has crashed and the three survivors are making their way through the barren and inhospitable terrain of the Forbidden Zone. Right away, protagonist George Taylor (whom we have already seen from his opening monologue to be both cynical and philosophical) launches into a series of verbal jabs at officer Landon, establishing the theme of "letting go of illusions that prevent us from seeing the truth" (sequence begins at 0:13:17):
Taylor: We’ve got food and water enough for three days.
Dodge: How long is a day?
Taylor: That’s a good question. Landon . . . Hey, Landon! Join the expedition.
Landon: Sorry, I was thinkin’ about Stuart.  What do you suppose happened?
Taylor: Air leak: she died in her sleep.
Landon: You don’t seem very cut-up about it.
Taylor: It’s a little late for a wake: she’s been dead nearly a year.
Landon: That means we’ve been away from Earth for eighteen months.
Taylor: Our time. You’ve gone grey.  Apart from that you look pretty chipper for a man who’s two thousand thirty-one years old. I read the clocks: they bear out Haslan’s hypothesis. We’ve been away from Earth for two thousand years, give or take a decade.  Still can’t accept it? Time’s wiped out everything you ever knew: it’s all dust.
Landon: Prove it! If we can’t get back, it’s still just a theory.
Taylor: It’s a fact, Landon. Buy it: you’ll sleep better. 
This exchange establishes Taylor as a devotee of the unvarnished truth and an enemy of cherished illusions, although he will soon face challenges which will reveal his own difficulty in getting past some of his own assumptions. 

In case the above exchange does not signal to us that this film will be pushing boundaries in areas that go far beyond makeup and costume, the next character dialogue (which follows several minutes of trudging across the eerie and forboding landscape) continues where that one left off, and amplifies it. The three travelers collapse in the shelter of a large boulder after escaping an avalanche of rolling rocks, and check their supplies (sequence begins at 0:17:54):
Taylor: Everybody all right? Water check.
Dodge: Eight ounces.
Dodge: It doesn’t add up: thunder and lightning and no rain. Cloud cover at night. That strange luminosity.
Landon: If we could just get a fix.
Taylor: What would that tell you? I’ve told you where you are and when you are.
Landon: All right-all right.
Taylor: You’re three hundred light years from your precious planet. Your loved ones are dead and forgotten for twenty centuries – twenty centuries! Even if you could get back, they’d think you were something that fell out of a tree.
Dodge: Aww, Taylor, quit ridin’ him.
Taylor: There’s just one reality left: we are here and it is now. You get hold of that and hang onto it, or you might as well be dead.
Landon: I’m prepared to die.
Taylor: He’s prepared to die! Doesn’t that make you misty! Chalk up another victory for the human spirit!
These two exchanges are vital to setting up the biting social commentary that the film will later deliver through the portrayal of a society of apes that is every bit as intolerant and as unwilling to give its citizens access to the truth as . . . well, societies that might be found on other planets in the galaxy where orangutans are not yet in charge.

Primarily, the film achieves this critique through the words and actions of the exalted, orange-clad, perfectly-coiffed and terribly human orangutans, including Dr. Maximus (Commissioner for Animal Affairs), Dr. Honorious (Deputy Minister of Justice), an orangutan identified primarily as "Mr. President" (President of the National Academy), and most importantly the memorable Dr. Zaius, Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith. There are plenty of humorous "human-ape inversion" lines and gags delivered by the chimpanzees and the gorillas, but it is the casual, self-assured, ruthless and utterly cynical orangutans who are the most chilling -- and the most human. They are completely confident in their ability to use smooth argument, condescending ridicule, and the well-placed reference to the scrolls of scripture to triumph over any challenge to their unquestioned authority, and they demonstrate a relish in doing so which is absolutely believable to the viewer -- as if they truly had been doing it their entire lives.

We learn that Dr. Zaius, at least, knows that the dogma in his scrolls cannot stand up to the evidence: that he is aware that humans once ruled the world and even possessed technologies that far surpassed anything the apes have achieved. But he has little fear that his system of mind control will ever be overturned: he ruthlessly wields the power of the military establishment -- and even more frighteningly, the power of the medical establishment -- to keep any inconvenient evidence from spreading doubt among the intellectual class of the chimpanzees.

The climactic scene in the cave by the sea shows that, although he says he will happily admit he is wrong if evidence can be found to support a different view of history, Dr. Zaius possesses skills at sophistry that are capable of defusing almost any evidence that can be presented to him -- but that he is not above dynamiting the evidence if any is found that cannot be explained away even by such a talented and charming sophist as himself.  Here are two exchanges that dramatically bring out the battle between those with access to paradigm-shifting evidence, and those who are willing to protect that paradigm (whose motto might be, "You can't handle the truth!")(sequence begins at 1:32:30):

Cornelius: We never meant to be treasonous, sir. But up there, in the face of that cliff, there is a vast cave . . . .  and in that cave a fabulous treasure of fossils and artifacts.
Dr. Zaius: I’ve seen some of your fossils and artifacts: they’re worthless.
TaylorThere’s your minister of science! Honor-bound to expand the frontiers of knowledge –
Cornelius: Taylor, please!
Taylor: Except that he’s also chief defender of the faith!
Dr. Zaius: There is no contradiction between faith and science – true science.
Taylor: Are you willing to put that statement to the test?
Cornelius: Taylor, I would much rather that –
Taylor: Take it easy – you saved me from this fanatic: maybe I can return the favor.
Dr. Zaius: What is your proposal?
Taylor: When were those sacred scrolls of yours written?
Dr. Zaius: Twelve hundred years ago.
Taylor: All right – now if they can prove those scrolls don’t tell the whole truth of your history: if they can find some real evidence of another culture from some remote past, will you let them off?
Dr. Zaius: Of course!
Taylor: Let’s go up to the cave.

And, inside the cave, here is part of the critical dialogue in which the evidence that overturns the false timeline of history that the orangutans have been pushing on society is revealed, and Dr. Zaius deftly turns it aside. Cornelius describes evidence at a layer he believes to be about 1300 years old, showing "barbarous" apes and "carniverous gorillas," and then he goes still deeper, to find evidence of more advanced societies (sequence beginning at 1:35:05):
Cornelius: But the artifacts lying here were found at this level – and date back seven hundred years earlier. That’s the paradox! For the more ancient culture, is the more advanced! Now admittedly, many of these objects are unidentified, but clearly they were fashioned by beings with a knowledge of metallurgy! Indeed, the fact that many of these tools are unknown to us suggests a culture which in certain ways equals our own! Some of the evidence is uncontestable.
Dr. Zaius: Don’t speak to me in absolutes! The evidence is contestable.
Cornelius: I apologize, sir.
Dr. Zaius: To begin with, your methods of dating the past are crude, to say the least. There are geologists on my staff who would laugh at your speculation.
This little exchange is very enlightening, and ironic! Because, while in the fictional allegory of the Planet of the Apes, they are talking about evidence that comes from about the time of Taylor's launch (recall in the very first conversation cited above that the astronauts have been away for two thousand years, give or take a decade), and hence are talking about a human civilization as the "more ancient more advanced culture," abundant evidence exists to assert the very same thing about evidence that we ourselves (meaning human beings on this planet) have found from the time before the earliest recorded civilizations! 

In many ways, the more ancient the artifacts, the more advanced it is -- think for example of the evidence which shows that sites as ancient as Stonehenge and Giza appear to have been placed on our globe by builders who knew the precise size and shape of our spherical earth, and who what is more had the ability to place monuments around the planet along geometric great-circle lines and separated by numbers of degrees of latitude that are significant precessional numbers (showing that their locations were no accident, and that very ancient planners could measure longitudinal location better than anyone from any known civilization until the time of Captain Cook).

And yet such evidence is scoffed at and smoothly explained away by the human counterparts of Dr. Zaius and the other members of the Simian Academy. Evidence which is too difficult to explain away has often been destroyed after immediately being proclaimed to be the product of simple hoaxers. Some of this evidence, and the likely reasons why it is so rapidly dismissed, is discussed in The Undying Stars; other examples can be found in previous blog posts such as those found here.

One of the undeniable themes of the 1968 Planet of the Apes, of course, is its opposition to the literal interpretation of scripture. This aspect is quite clear in the tribunal scene in which radical theories that apes might have evolved from more primitive creatures such as humans are mocked, and ape-scriptures are cited which are tellingly similar to Biblical teachings.

We could even argue that this aspect of the film is established much earlier, in the opening dialogues cited at the outset of our investigation, in which Taylor derisively jabs at Landon with the fact that they are now two thousand years past the world that Landon wants to hold on to (give or take a decade). That these two thousand years (give or take a decade) could also be seen as referring to the now-vanished "Bible times" and that this time span was chosen for that very purpose is evident from other clearly Biblical references in the same dialogue: the voyagers are informed they have enough food and water for three days, and there is a pointed reference to "thunder and lightning and no rain," which clearly describes the weird weather experienced in the Forbidden Zone but which would also recall scriptural verses such as Proverbs 25:14 and Jude 12.

The film is thus obviously attacking literal interpretations of ancient scriptures, if not every aspect of the scriptures themselves, as obstacles to the goal of knowing the truth which forms the film's overarching theme. And certainly the way they are portrayed as a tool for control, oppression, and the excusing of violence in the ape society makes this a valid criticism, for they have been used in just such a way for at least seventeen hundred years in human society, and continue to be so used to this day, as the film makers no doubt intended to say in their movie.  

It is even possible that the film intends to point out some connection between those who accept illusions instead of facing the truth and those who ultimately destroyed human civilization -- a destruction that has been evident throughout the film but which Taylor somehow keeps himself from seeing until the very end of the film in the dramatic scene at the beach by the ruined Statue of Liberty (as if apes speaking English and writing in Latin characters should not have clued him in to the fact that he wasn't really on a planet three hundred light years from home all this time).

It is a poignant symbol.

The 1968 Planet of the Apes is a true piece of classic literature, and a masterful exploration of the pursuit of truth and knowing -- and the obstacles and illusions that impede that pursuit of truth and of knowing. It speaks as loudly to us today as it did to the first audiences who saw it in the theater, forty-six years ago and living in a very different world than the one in which we find ourselves, but a world as in need of those who are willing to pursue the truth as the world of 1968 -- or of 3978.