David Mathisen, Do Ancient Star Myths Tell the Same Story? |426|

#21
if you have a chance to take a deep dive into david's work you'll see that the myths go way way beyond navigation stuff. we're really talking about a system of perennial wisdom. bible stories in the sky. homer's iliad in the sky.
I will, but we must remember - in terms of origins stories there are a couple principles.

1. We have to have them, as they enhance significance.
2. There are only two places to 'have come from' in a cultural oral history - The Sky and From Under the Ground.
3. Mythologies are subject to Asch Conformity and are accretive.

But that being said - my skepticism stops there, because I do not know enough about this topic yet. Will go more in depth. ;;/?
 
#22
The continents split apart way before mankind existed.
Well, possibly. But here are some verses from the bible that seem to say that our ancesters were witnesses to the event:
Genesis 10 King James Version (KJV)

10 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,

16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

(Sorry about this explanation being a bit lengthy but from it we may gather about how many generations after the flood of Noah which we might conclude was caused by the great asteroid impact into the single great continent, that it began to divide and separate. during the time of Peleg.
Public Domain
 
#23
Well, possibly. But here are some verses from the bible that seem to say that our ancesters were witnesses to the event:
Genesis 10 King James Version (KJV)

10 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.

2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,

16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.

23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.

24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.

26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,

(Sorry about this explanation being a bit lengthy but from it we may gather about how many generations after the flood of Noah which we might conclude was caused by the great asteroid impact into the single great continent, that it began to divide and separate. during the time of Peleg.
Public Domain
Even when I was a Christian I don’t think I would’ve been particularly convinced by that from a strict historical standpoint. As it stands now, even less likely.
 
#24
Even when I was a Christian I don’t think I would’ve been particularly convinced by that from a strict historical standpoint. As it stands now, even less likely.
Yeah, if a comet or a 'canopy over the Earth' or 'fountains of the deep' large enough to cause the entire Earth to flood, to 150 ft over Mt. Everest - hit the Earth, a flood would be the least of their worries. A wooden ark no matter how sturdy and reinforced would not be left in any pieces over 3 ft long and they would be scattered over half the Earth as debris. People do not realize the enormous amount of kinetic energy involved here. Nothing manmade would survive... especially a long wooden structure. Large wooden ships are EXTREMELY FRAGILE objects - despite what laymen might think. They must be lifted gently, floated gently and deposited gently. Not one human would have survived this type of flood unless they went into space for about 150,000 years and lived there the entire time.

If an asteroid hit the Earth with enough kinetic energy to force apart the continents - not one member of the animal kingdom over 6 ounces in body mass would survive. Not even one. Oxygen is very ephemeral - and its absence is an extermination event. Any surviving human would have had to flee to space and spend a good 1 million years waiting for the ecosphere to recover to where they could live here again.

This million years in space would have been BIG news for the Bible to recount. And a million years of generational tallies would make for a very large Book of Genesis.

Then there is the Riddle of the Olive Leaf in Noah's Dove's Mouth.

1. The 'tops of the highest mountain peaks emerged from the sea' on Flood Day 221​
2. Noah released the Dove, to then upon its return, scrape Olive Leaf residue from its beak on Flood Day 268​
(note: why would Noah scrape the dove's beak if he did not expect anything but barren brine-soaked land, to emerge - this makes no sense at all)​
3. That makes for 47 days from the emergence of first dry land (free of salt water and desiccated salt?), so that a plant can grow, until the first green olive leaf.​

It takes 7 months for an olive pit - dormant from being under water - to 'Come True' - i.e. sprout a green leaf. And that is if the soil does not contain any salt residue - which is toxic to plants.

Where did Noah's Dove's olive leaf come from then?

Someone prevaricated.... :)
Smart enough to fib, but not smart enough to not get caught.
 
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#25
Thank you to Alex and the Skeptiko community for graciously having me over for another conversation!

I have written a blog post here in which I attempt to give more coherent form to the position that I was trying to articulate during our discussion:
https://www.starmythworld.com/mathi...iko-a-sometimes-contentious-discussion-ensues

I will post that below for ease of reference as well, but before diving into that, I can see from the above comments that many here may not be very familiar with the evidence that I present in my books, videos, and blog posts -- and that's understandable because in this interview we did not really discuss that evidence much at all, moving instead to discussion of "where it (might have) originated" and "what its purpose might be." You can see more discussion of my overall thesis in our previous Skeptiko interview (from Jan 2017) but I would actually recommend some of my more recent interviews which contain more-extensive visual aids and star-charts to help demonstrate what I am talking about. I would recommend perusing either of the following video interviews for those who want to actually engage with the evidence supporting the assertion that a very specific and coherent system can be found operating at the foundation of ancient myths from cultures literally around the globe (and very unlikely to have just popped up independently of one another):
Grimerica video interview from May of 2019
Deekast video interview from June of 2019

And now here is my post which attempts to lay out a few things which Skeptiko community may find helpful in navigating the recent conversation between me and Alex:

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

Thank you to Alex Tsakiris for having me over to his Skeptiko podcast and channel for another discussion about stars and myths.

Welcome to any new visitors who are here for the first time after listening to the interview, or watching it on YouTube. Here is the page on the Skeptiko website where you can download the audio to a mobile device (you can also do that at the Skeptiko iTunes webpage here).

This conversation is a little different from other podcasts I've appeared on, because Alex didn't want to spend much time discussing the actual evidence that the world's ancient myths can be shown to be based on a shared system of celestial metaphor. He thinks that I've already established that thesis with my writing, and discussed it extensively on other podcasts, so he wanted to focus on where that system might have come from and what its purpose might be.

This subject can make for a very profitable discussion, but perhaps I was not clear enough in stating my position that there is a sharp divide between what I believe I can "prove" (or at least what I can support using overwhelming evidence), and what must remain speculation at the present time until we have more evidence.

I can prove -- or at least establish with overwhelming evidence -- that virtually all the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, from cultures on every continent and inhabited island on our planet, are built upon a common, worldwide system of celestial metaphor, one which is exceedingly ancient (indeed, it is already fully-formed in the most ancient extant texts known to us at this time, including the early clay tablets of ancient Mesopotamia containing the Gilgamesh cycle and the Enuma Elish, or the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt which incorporate elements of the Osiris and Horus cycle).

On the other hand, I cannot state at this time exactly where this ancient system came from. Indeed, no one can tell you where it came from!

Anyone who tells you that they know for certain where this ancient system came from is either lying or mistaken.

The reason they cannot tell you for certain is that it clearly originates prior to any civilization known to conventional history at this time -- perhaps thousands of years prior to any civilization known to conventional history at this time.

The origin of this world-wide system of celestial metaphor may be so ancient that it originated in a culture that was more ancient to the earliest dynasties of ancient Egypt than those earliest dynasties are to our own civilization! In other words, if the earliest dynasties of Egypt were about 5000 years prior to our own time, the ancient origin of the world-wide system of celestial metaphor may have been more than 5000 years prior to the earliest dynasties of Egypt.

For example, below we see a seal attributed to King Den of the First Dynasty of Egypt, who is thought to have died in approximately 2995 BC:

IvoryLabelOfDen-BritishMuseum-August19-08.jpg
image: Wikimedia commons (link).

As I explain in my most-recent book, The Ancient World-Wide System, the above imagery is unmistakably celestial in origin, based on specific constellations, as are virtually all of the characters and episodes described in the ancient Egyptian myths.

King Den lived approximately 5000 years ago, from our perspective today in the year 2019. And yet the amazing stone circles of Gobekli Tepe, which only began to see the light of day again in the late 1990s and early 2000s of our present era, appear to have been deliberately buried not later than the year 8000 BC -- and its creation must of course have been prior to its burial, meaning that it could be a great deal older than that. In other words, Gobekli Tepe is at least 5000 years prior to the time of the First Dynasty King Den, indicating the existence of a previously-unknown culture capable of engineering an enormous and mysterious field of massive and precisely-planed, astronomically-aligned stones (some of them adorned with sculpted high-relief representations of animals such as the pillar shown below) existing as many years before the life of King Den as the life of King Den is before our own time in the present day.

GobeklitepeHeykel.jpg

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

There is simply not enough information about whatever culture lived so long before the first civilizations known to conventional history (so long before the time of ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient India and even the Indus-Saraswati Civilization) for us to make any definitive pronouncements about how they lived or whether or not they are the originators of this ancient world-wide system (although it certainly indicates the existence of sophisticated and extremely ancient cultures which are completely outside the current historical paradigm and which may well point us towards the answer to the question of where this ancient system of myth might have originated).

Additionally, no one can tell you dogmatically and with certainty the original purpose of this ancient world-wide system. Anyone who confidently and self-assuredly tells you that they can is either mistaken or they are lying to you.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that this world-wide system exists, that the evidence is overwhelming and conclusive, and that the existence of this system demonstrates that the conventional timeline of ancient history is fatally flawed and in need of radical revision.

I cannot tell you dogmatically that I know for certain where this system originated or even what it ultimately means -- what its original and complete intended purpose was.

After studying it for ten years, I certainly have some likely suggestions and strong opinions about the answer to these questions, but I will not dogmatically assert that I know for certain (and, again, I believe that anyone who tells you that he or she knows the answer with certainty is either naive and mistaken because they do not understand the full scope of the subject matter yet, or else they are a charlatan who is lying to you).

In the above interview, Alex appears to be quite willing to accept the evidence that I have been presenting for the past several years in my books, blog posts, videos, and other podcast interviews which demonstrates the existence of an ancient world-wide system of celestial metaphor underlying the myths, scriptures, and sacred stories of cultures around the world (and reflected in ancient artwork as well). He is so willing to accept it that he did not want to focus on that evidence during the interview, instead pushing into the areas of where it came from and what its purpose might be, even though on those topics I can only offer suggested possibilities rather than dogmatic assertions (as I've just explained).

Indeed, he apparently feels that my research validates a possibility about which he is very excited --visitation by extraterrestrials -- and he was very eager to get me to agree with him on that explanation.

However, as I've explained in many previous posts, my years of research on the world's ancient Star Myths do not conclusively indicate extraterrestrial origin at all. In fact, I have reason to be deeply suspicious of many vocal extraterrestrial advocates from the past several decades (predating the Second World War but increasing dramatically in the decades following the putative end of that conflict), who almost universally argue that "the ancient myths actually document extraterrestrial contact" and that "the beings described in the myths as gods were actually visitors from other planets."

The evidence that I have been writing about actually refutes and even disproves that widely-repeated hypothesis (that the supernatural beings and marvelous events described in the ancient myths are extraterrestrials) by showing that the figures and episodes described in the world's ancient myths are metaphorical, rather than literal.

The ancient myths may indeed be describing gods and goddesses who are very real, but they are not literal, physical, extraterrestrial visitors arriving in mechanical craft to visit our planet. The gods and goddesses who move through the world's myths are realities and powers of the spiritual realm, an Invisible Realm which interacts with and indeed interpenetrates our physical realm, but their attributes are explained for our understanding using a sophisticated metaphorical code based upon the constellations in the heavens, because through the imagery of the stars which we can see we can understand truths about the Infinite Realm which we cannot see (and pause for a moment to consider what an ingenious choice this was, because when we look into the stars of the night sky, we are indeed looking into an infinite realm).

A few previous posts I've written in which I voice my misgivings about the "ancient aliens" hypothesis and about ascribing the origin of these myths to extraterrestrials include:

I have also created a fairly detailed and lengthy video discussing the famous "vision of Ezekiel" found in the Old Testament scriptures of the Bible, an episode in the ancient text which is often cited by proponents of the ancient alien hypothesis as evidence for ancient extraterrestrial contact -- a video in which I demonstrate that the text is clearly based upon celestial metaphor, containing a sophisticated description of the turning of the heavens throughout the year which matches very well to the models of celestial mechanics which we call an "armillary sphere," and describing the yawning of the ecliptic path above and below the celestial equator at the two points of solstice, and the intersection of that same ecliptic with the celestial equator at the two points of equinox during our annual orbit around the sun. The "four living creatures" introduced in Ezekiel chapter 1 and verse 5 clearly correspond to the zodiac constellations stationed at these four important points of the year (the two solstices and the two equinoxes).

In addition to that video on the vision of Ezekiel, I also wrote another extended blog post exploring its significance and its clear origin in celestial metaphor which can be found here, and there is also a discussion of this important passage in my 2016 book Star Myths of the World, Volume Three: Star Myths of the Bible.

The frequent subject changes of this particular interview, and the fact that I sometimes take too long to try to explain a point when it would be better if I just stated my view clearly and succinctly, meant that I did not really sketch out my suggestion of where I believe this ancient world-wide system might have originated (although I did attempt to present some discussion of my view on that question). I have elaborated on this topic at greater length in my 2014 book The Undying Stars.

Very briefly, in that book I explain that I would divide the timeline into three very broad segments:
  • the time in the far distant past (long before any written records we have in our possession at this time) when this ancient system was understood and informing an extremely ancient culture (or cultures) which far predates any of the known civilizations and which may have been destroyed by some type of tremendous cataclysm (the deliberate burial of the massive Gobekli Tepe complex may point to the same conclusion),
  • the period after this culture disappeared (likely due to some catastrophe) during which remnants of the ancient system survived (and during which remarkable civilizations such as those of ancient Sumer and ancient Egypt appear to have been informed by some preserved knowledge from that much more ancient period -- perhaps because they were a kind of "re-start"), during which the ancient myths were revered by the various cultures of the world, each of which maintained a set of sacred traditions that can all be seen as utilizing this same ancient system of celestial metaphor, and finally
  • the period after the rise of Literalist Christianity, during which the ancient wisdom contained in the myths was deliberately and aggressively stamped out, beginning in the region controlled by the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean, and then expanding into western Europe and northern Europe, resulting in a tragic disconnection from the ancient wisdom, and leading to the establishment of feudalism in Europe (and as far east as Russia) and eventually to the establishment of colonial powers (primarily situated in western Europe) who then continued to expand around the globe and work to stamp out connections to the ancient wisdom wherever it had survived (usually replacing them with Literalist Christianity, which is a political, empire-building system), a process which continues to this day.
I believe it is very likely that the profound system of ancient esoteric teaching, which appears to have originated in the first period described above (long before any civilization we know of, and perhaps separated from all the civilizations we know about by some tremendous catastrophe), contained the keys to greater harmony with the universe around us, including the cycles of the heavens and the energy of the earth itself, as well as harmony with our own essential self, through whom (the ancient myths appear to tell us) we have access to the divine realm: the Infinite Realm, a realm of pure potential -- the realm of the gods. It may be that these myths not only help us to recover our connection to Self, but they also point us towards the realization of potential that today lies mostly dormant.

Some of the original purpose may well have been preserved following whatever disaster led to the almost complete disappearance of that "predecessor culture" described in the first bullet-point above, during the period described in the second bullet-point (the period informed by the ancient myths, prior to the rise of Literalist Christianity). However, the rise of Literalist Christianity reveals the undeniable presence of forces who want to sever our connection to the ancient myths, and our connection to the gods and goddesses described in the "original instructions" preserved by virtually every culture on the planet (the term "original instructions" is one that I borrowed from a lecture by the important and incredibly insightful author Peter Kingsley).

It should not be very controversial to argue that Literalist Christianity has as an explicit goal opposition to the gods described in the ancient myths, and that the agents of Literalist Christianity have gone around the world seeking to eliminate reliance upon the "original instructions" and replace that reliance with acceptance of the doctrines of Literalist Christianity (in one form or another), and that this went on for centuries and still continues although to a lesser degree. Following the decline of mass acceptance of literalism, I would argue that other proxies were adopted to continue the mission of disconnection from the incredible power available in the ancient myths -- and it is very possible that the "ancient aliens" or "extraterrestrial" movement (which at times can very much resemble a fundamentalist faith, its proponents arguing its certainty with a kind of missionary zeal and fervor) has been fostered with this exact purpose in mind (note, as mentioned above, that a great majority of the proponents of the "extraterrestrial faith" insist that the ancient gods and goddesses were simply alien visitors who exist in the material realm, just as we do).

I personally am very suspicious that the popular extraterrestrial narratives, which actually began to appear well before the Second World War and which have a long history of overlap (of ideas and of proponents) with detestable racist and elitist movements such as the eugenics movement, might well be a tool of the same groups who are fighting to preserve the kinds of feudal and colonialist mechanisms of exploitation and oppression brought about during that third phase described above (the period following the rise of Literalist Christianity). I mention some of these racist and elitist connections (such as those described in the despicable doctrines promulgated in the "Urantia Book") in a fairly-recent video entitled "Literalism and 'Alien Contact'."

Despite the sometimes-contentious nature of the above interview, I'm grateful to Alex for having me over to Skeptiko for another visit. I think that Alex is very appreciative of the evidence connecting the stars and the myths, and is very excited by the ramifications of that evidence (even if he and I have some disagreements about all of the details of those ramifications). He wants to jump straight from the evidence of a world-wide system of Star Myths directly to a supposed validation of extraterrestrial visitors, because that is a topic that is apparently important to him (even though it is one about which I have serious misgivings, as described above).

But I am convinced that disagreements and even debate can play a very positive role in forcing greater clarification of one's points (and, when necessary, re-examination of positions and the evidence in order to see where conclusions may need to be changed, or where additional analysis may be necessary).

I believe the most important distinction I would like to reiterate is a sharp dividing line between the clear evidence I have found which demonstrates the existence of a common world-wide system of celestial metaphor informing the myths of cultures on every inhabited continent and island of our planet and indeed forming their foundation, and the question of where this system came from and what it could mean (questions about which I have some definite opinions, but upon which I refuse to be dogmatic because I argue that we cannot possibly know at this point with the evidence that we have at hand -- probably because the origin of this system is far earlier than any civilization about which we have extensive evidence or any written record). We may well have more evidence about this second subject area at a later date, but at this time I do not believe anyone can speak dogmatically about it.

However, the myths themselves contain a wealth of evidence which helps us to begin to grasp more and more of their incredible and profound ancient message for our lives. And I firmly believe that the more we can learn to listen to them in the language they are actually speaking, the better opportunity we have to hear more of what they are trying to say -- and that the language that they are speaking is a celestial language, an esoteric language, and a metaphorical language, based on an incredible system of extreme antiquity, a precious inheritance from ancestors so distant we do not even know what to call them, but who are speaking to us in a language which we can actually decipher: the language of the stars.

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

The above interview was recorded on August 15, 2019. You can see the interview of my first visit to Skeptiko (from January of 2017) here.
 
#26
I like that suggestion - the knowledge in the stars was essentially navigational, but encoded in stories.
While there is no doubt that observation of the night sky may have assisted navigation there are a bunch of reasons why this cannot have been a primary function:
  • Observation to develop the depth of knowledge displayed required millennia of highly disciplined observation from a fixed point.
  • Mesoamerican star lore exhibits awareness of deep cycles that had to have had a long history of observation and calculation.
  • Our ancient ancestors understood the circa 25,920 year cycle of the progression of the equinoxes. The common belief is that this idea was 'discovered' by a Greek in circa 200BCE, but alternative arguments push that date back many millennia
  • So how long would we have to observe the stars closely and carefully before such a theory could be developed?
It is more likely that navigational applications came after stellar observation had matured at fixed points.

In fact I would argue that astronomical observation from a fixed point over time would have necessitated the development of agriculture more than any other human activity - especially if there was a profound existential motive for doing so. No other human activity demanded fixed and enduring points of reference.
 
#27
I can prove -- or at least establish with overwhelming evidence -- that virtually all the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, from cultures on every continent and inhabited island on our planet, are built upon a common, worldwide system of celestial metaphor, one which is exceedingly ancient (indeed, it is already fully-formed in the most ancient extant texts known to us at this time, including the early clay tablets of ancient Mesopotamia containing the Gilgamesh cycle and the Enuma Elish, or the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt which incorporate elements of the Osiris and Horus cycle).
Hi DWM. Entirely with you on this. I am familiar with Graham Hancock's work and I have read a number of texts asserting a similar argument. I think we have to step back from our presumption and imagine how our ancestors saw the night sky - close and full of spirit - an intimate component of their spiritual reality. We have to stop thinking the sky is remote and largely empty. That's how it seems to us now, but it is not how our ancestors saw it. If we can get that, then we can see that the constellations were not the projected abstractions they seem to us.

I struggled through Hamlet's Mill looking for evidence related to 'animism' - and found it. But it took Frankopan's The Silk Roads to break my habit of seeing human interaction from the habituated conceit of Western intellectualism and ethnocentrism. However that did not explain the universality of the Pleiades, for instance, in as a common image - 7 sisters. We can accept the post cataclysmic culture seeders, like Osiris, or allow a more esoteric explanation via shamans - all coming from the same country and speaking the same language. Either way we have a global and shared theme whose foundations are objective reality or compelling shared symbolism - or both.

I am a fan of astrology done well. I studied enough astrology over the years to have intelligent conversations with an astrologer who has done my year ahead charts for the past 3 years with stunning accuracy. My take on the heavens is that they are a continuum, from an animistic perspective, of the material world - spirit filled, moral and coherent. Close observation is both rational and necessary.
 
#28
Thank you to Alex and the Skeptiko community for graciously having me over for another conversation!

I have written a blog post here in which I attempt to give more coherent form to the position that I was trying to articulate during our discussion:
https://www.starmythworld.com/mathi...iko-a-sometimes-contentious-discussion-ensues

I will post that below for ease of reference as well, but before diving into that, I can see from the above comments that many here may not be very familiar with the evidence that I present in my books, videos, and blog posts -- and that's understandable because in this interview we did not really discuss that evidence much at all, moving instead to discussion of "where it (might have) originated" and "what its purpose might be." You can see more discussion of my overall thesis in our previous Skeptiko interview (from Jan 2017) but I would actually recommend some of my more recent interviews which contain more-extensive visual aids and star-charts to help demonstrate what I am talking about. I would recommend perusing either of the following video interviews for those who want to actually engage with the evidence supporting the assertion that a very specific and coherent system can be found operating at the foundation of ancient myths from cultures literally around the globe (and very unlikely to have just popped up independently of one another):
Grimerica video interview from May of 2019
Deekast video interview from June of 2019

And now here is my post which attempts to lay out a few things which Skeptiko community may find helpful in navigating the recent conversation between me and Alex:

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

Thank you to Alex Tsakiris for having me over to his Skeptiko podcast and channel for another discussion about stars and myths.

Welcome to any new visitors who are here for the first time after listening to the interview, or watching it on YouTube. Here is the page on the Skeptiko website where you can download the audio to a mobile device (you can also do that at the Skeptiko iTunes webpage here).

This conversation is a little different from other podcasts I've appeared on, because Alex didn't want to spend much time discussing the actual evidence that the world's ancient myths can be shown to be based on a shared system of celestial metaphor. He thinks that I've already established that thesis with my writing, and discussed it extensively on other podcasts, so he wanted to focus on where that system might have come from and what its purpose might be.

This subject can make for a very profitable discussion, but perhaps I was not clear enough in stating my position that there is a sharp divide between what I believe I can "prove" (or at least what I can support using overwhelming evidence), and what must remain speculation at the present time until we have more evidence.

I can prove -- or at least establish with overwhelming evidence -- that virtually all the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, from cultures on every continent and inhabited island on our planet, are built upon a common, worldwide system of celestial metaphor, one which is exceedingly ancient (indeed, it is already fully-formed in the most ancient extant texts known to us at this time, including the early clay tablets of ancient Mesopotamia containing the Gilgamesh cycle and the Enuma Elish, or the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt which incorporate elements of the Osiris and Horus cycle).

On the other hand, I cannot state at this time exactly where this ancient system came from. Indeed, no one can tell you where it came from!

Anyone who tells you that they know for certain where this ancient system came from is either lying or mistaken.
Thank you to Alex and the Skeptiko community for graciously having me over for another conversation!

I have written a blog post here in which I attempt to give more coherent form to the position that I was trying to articulate during our discussion:
https://www.starmythworld.com/mathi...iko-a-sometimes-contentious-discussion-ensues

I will post that below for ease of reference as well, but before diving into that, I can see from the above comments that many here may not be very familiar with the evidence that I present in my books, videos, and blog posts -- and that's understandable because in this interview we did not really discuss that evidence much at all, moving instead to discussion of "where it (might have) originated" and "what its purpose might be." You can see more discussion of my overall thesis in our previous Skeptiko interview (from Jan 2017) but I would actually recommend some of my more recent interviews which contain more-extensive visual aids and star-charts to help demonstrate what I am talking about. I would recommend perusing either of the following video interviews for those who want to actually engage with the evidence supporting the assertion that a very specific and coherent system can be found operating at the foundation of ancient myths from cultures literally around the globe (and very unlikely to have just popped up independently of one another):
Grimerica video interview from May of 2019
Deekast video interview from June of 2019

And now here is my post which attempts to lay out a few things which Skeptiko community may find helpful in navigating the recent conversation between me and Alex:

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

Thank you to Alex Tsakiris for having me over to his Skeptiko podcast and channel for another discussion about stars and myths.

Welcome to any new visitors who are here for the first time after listening to the interview, or watching it on YouTube. Here is the page on the Skeptiko website where you can download the audio to a mobile device (you can also do that at the Skeptiko iTunes webpage here).

This conversation is a little different from other podcasts I've appeared on, because Alex didn't want to spend much time discussing the actual evidence that the world's ancient myths can be shown to be based on a shared system of celestial metaphor. He thinks that I've already established that thesis with my writing, and discussed it extensively on other podcasts, so he wanted to focus on where that system might have come from and what its purpose might be.

This subject can make for a very profitable discussion, but perhaps I was not clear enough in stating my position that there is a sharp divide between what I believe I can "prove" (or at least what I can support using overwhelming evidence), and what must remain speculation at the present time until we have more evidence.

I can prove -- or at least establish with overwhelming evidence -- that virtually all the world's ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories, from cultures on every continent and inhabited island on our planet, are built upon a common, worldwide system of celestial metaphor, one which is exceedingly ancient (indeed, it is already fully-formed in the most ancient extant texts known to us at this time, including the early clay tablets of ancient Mesopotamia containing the Gilgamesh cycle and the Enuma Elish, or the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt which incorporate elements of the Osiris and Horus cycle).

On the other hand, I cannot state at this time exactly where this ancient system came from. Indeed, no one can tell you where it came from!

Anyone who tells you that they know for certain where this ancient system came from is either lying or mistaken.

The reason they cannot tell you for certain is that it clearly originates prior to any civilization known to conventional history at this time -- perhaps thousands of years prior to any civilization known to conventional history at this time.

The origin of this world-wide system of celestial metaphor may be so ancient that it originated in a culture that was more ancient to the earliest dynasties of ancient Egypt than those earliest dynasties are to our own civilization! In other words, if the earliest dynasties of Egypt were about 5000 years prior to our own time, the ancient origin of the world-wide system of celestial metaphor may have been more than 5000 years prior to the earliest dynasties of Egypt.

For example, below we see a seal attributed to King Den of the First Dynasty of Egypt, who is thought to have died in approximately 2995 BC:

View attachment 1266
image: Wikimedia commons (link).

As I explain in my most-recent book, The Ancient World-Wide System, the above imagery is unmistakably celestial in origin, based on specific constellations, as are virtually all of the characters and episodes described in the ancient Egyptian myths.

King Den lived approximately 5000 years ago, from our perspective today in the year 2019. And yet the amazing stone circles of Gobekli Tepe, which only began to see the light of day again in the late 1990s and early 2000s of our present era, appear to have been deliberately buried not later than the year 8000 BC -- and its creation must of course have been prior to its burial, meaning that it could be a great deal older than that. In other words, Gobekli Tepe is at least 5000 years prior to the time of the First Dynasty King Den, indicating the existence of a previously-unknown culture capable of engineering an enormous and mysterious field of massive and precisely-planed, astronomically-aligned stones (some of them adorned with sculpted high-relief representations of animals such as the pillar shown below) existing as many years before the life of King Den as the life of King Den is before our own time in the present day.

View attachment 1267

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

There is simply not enough information about whatever culture lived so long before the first civilizations known to conventional history (so long before the time of ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient India and even the Indus-Saraswati Civilization) for us to make any definitive pronouncements about how they lived or whether or not they are the originators of this ancient world-wide system (although it certainly indicates the existence of sophisticated and extremely ancient cultures which are completely outside the current historical paradigm and which may well point us towards the answer to the question of where this ancient system of myth might have originated).

Additionally, no one can tell you dogmatically and with certainty the original purpose of this ancient world-wide system. Anyone who confidently and self-assuredly tells you that they can is either mistaken or they are lying to you.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that this world-wide system exists, that the evidence is overwhelming and conclusive, and that the existence of this system demonstrates that the conventional timeline of ancient history is fatally flawed and in need of radical revision.

I cannot tell you dogmatically that I know for certain where this system originated or even what it ultimately means -- what its original and complete intended purpose was.

After studying it for ten years, I certainly have some likely suggestions and strong opinions about the answer to these questions, but I will not dogmatically assert that I know for certain (and, again, I believe that anyone who tells you that he or she knows the answer with certainty is either naive and mistaken because they do not understand the full scope of the subject matter yet, or else they are a charlatan who is lying to you).

In the above interview, Alex appears to be quite willing to accept the evidence that I have been presenting for the past several years in my books, blog posts, videos, and other podcast interviews which demonstrates the existence of an ancient world-wide system of celestial metaphor underlying the myths, scriptures, and sacred stories of cultures around the world (and reflected in ancient artwork as well). He is so willing to accept it that he did not want to focus on that evidence during the interview, instead pushing into the areas of where it came from and what its purpose might be, even though on those topics I can only offer suggested possibilities rather than dogmatic assertions (as I've just explained).

Indeed, he apparently feels that my research validates a possibility about which he is very excited --visitation by extraterrestrials -- and he was very eager to get me to agree with him on that explanation.

However, as I've explained in many previous posts, my years of research on the world's ancient Star Myths do not conclusively indicate extraterrestrial origin at all. In fact, I have reason to be deeply suspicious of many vocal extraterrestrial advocates from the past several decades (predating the Second World War but increasing dramatically in the decades following the putative end of that conflict), who almost universally argue that "the ancient myths actually document extraterrestrial contact" and that "the beings described in the myths as gods were actually visitors from other planets."

The evidence that I have been writing about actually refutes and even disproves that widely-repeated hypothesis (that the supernatural beings and marvelous events described in the ancient myths are extraterrestrials) by showing that the figures and episodes described in the world's ancient myths are metaphorical, rather than literal.

The ancient myths may indeed be describing gods and goddesses who are very real, but they are not literal, physical, extraterrestrial visitors arriving in mechanical craft to visit our planet. The gods and goddesses who move through the world's myths are realities and powers of the spiritual realm, an Invisible Realm which interacts with and indeed interpenetrates our physical realm, but their attributes are explained for our understanding using a sophisticated metaphorical code based upon the constellations in the heavens, because through the imagery of the stars which we can see we can understand truths about the Infinite Realm which we cannot see (and pause for a moment to consider what an ingenious choice this was, because when we look into the stars of the night sky, we are indeed looking into an infinite realm).

A few previous posts I've written in which I voice my misgivings about the "ancient aliens" hypothesis and about ascribing the origin of these myths to extraterrestrials include:

I have also created a fairly detailed and lengthy video discussing the famous "vision of Ezekiel" found in the Old Testament scriptures of the Bible, an episode in the ancient text which is often cited by proponents of the ancient alien hypothesis as evidence for ancient extraterrestrial contact -- a video in which I demonstrate that the text is clearly based upon celestial metaphor, containing a sophisticated description of the turning of the heavens throughout the year which matches very well to the models of celestial mechanics which we call an "armillary sphere," and describing the yawning of the ecliptic path above and below the celestial equator at the two points of solstice, and the intersection of that same ecliptic with the celestial equator at the two points of equinox during our annual orbit around the sun. The "four living creatures" introduced in Ezekiel chapter 1 and verse 5 clearly correspond to the zodiac constellations stationed at these four important points of the year (the two solstices and the two equinoxes).

In addition to that video on the vision of Ezekiel, I also wrote another extended blog post exploring its significance and its clear origin in celestial metaphor which can be found here, and there is also a discussion of this important passage in my 2016 book Star Myths of the World, Volume Three: Star Myths of the Bible.

The frequent subject changes of this particular interview, and the fact that I sometimes take too long to try to explain a point when it would be better if I just stated my view clearly and succinctly, meant that I did not really sketch out my suggestion of where I believe this ancient world-wide system might have originated (although I did attempt to present some discussion of my view on that question). I have elaborated on this topic at greater length in my 2014 book The Undying Stars.

Very briefly, in that book I explain that I would divide the timeline into three very broad segments:
  • the time in the far distant past (long before any written records we have in our possession at this time) when this ancient system was understood and informing an extremely ancient culture (or cultures) which far predates any of the known civilizations and which may have been destroyed by some type of tremendous cataclysm (the deliberate burial of the massive Gobekli Tepe complex may point to the same conclusion),
  • the period after this culture disappeared (likely due to some catastrophe) during which remnants of the ancient system survived (and during which remarkable civilizations such as those of ancient Sumer and ancient Egypt appear to have been informed by some preserved knowledge from that much more ancient period -- perhaps because they were a kind of "re-start"), during which the ancient myths were revered by the various cultures of the world, each of which maintained a set of sacred traditions that can all be seen as utilizing this same ancient system of celestial metaphor, and finally
  • the period after the rise of Literalist Christianity, during which the ancient wisdom contained in the myths was deliberately and aggressively stamped out, beginning in the region controlled by the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean, and then expanding into western Europe and northern Europe, resulting in a tragic disconnection from the ancient wisdom, and leading to the establishment of feudalism in Europe (and as far east as Russia) and eventually to the establishment of colonial powers (primarily situated in western Europe) who then continued to expand around the globe and work to stamp out connections to the ancient wisdom wherever it had survived (usually replacing them with Literalist Christianity, which is a political, empire-building system), a process which continues to this day.
I believe it is very likely that the profound system of ancient esoteric teaching, which appears to have originated in the first period described above (long before any civilization we know of, and perhaps separated from all the civilizations we know about by some tremendous catastrophe), contained the keys to greater harmony with the universe around us, including the cycles of the heavens and the energy of the earth itself, as well as harmony with our own essential self, through whom (the ancient myths appear to tell us) we have access to the divine realm: the Infinite Realm, a realm of pure potential -- the realm of the gods. It may be that these myths not only help us to recover our connection to Self, but they also point us towards the realization of potential that today lies mostly dormant.

Some of the original purpose may well have been preserved following whatever disaster led to the almost complete disappearance of that "predecessor culture" described in the first bullet-point above, during the period described in the second bullet-point (the period informed by the ancient myths, prior to the rise of Literalist Christianity). However, the rise of Literalist Christianity reveals the undeniable presence of forces who want to sever our connection to the ancient myths, and our connection to the gods and goddesses described in the "original instructions" preserved by virtually every culture on the planet (the term "original instructions" is one that I borrowed from a lecture by the important and incredibly insightful author Peter Kingsley).

It should not be very controversial to argue that Literalist Christianity has as an explicit goal opposition to the gods described in the ancient myths, and that the agents of Literalist Christianity have gone around the world seeking to eliminate reliance upon the "original instructions" and replace that reliance with acceptance of the doctrines of Literalist Christianity (in one form or another), and that this went on for centuries and still continues although to a lesser degree. Following the decline of mass acceptance of literalism, I would argue that other proxies were adopted to continue the mission of disconnection from the incredible power available in the ancient myths -- and it is very possible that the "ancient aliens" or "extraterrestrial" movement (which at times can very much resemble a fundamentalist faith, its proponents arguing its certainty with a kind of missionary zeal and fervor) has been fostered with this exact purpose in mind (note, as mentioned above, that a great majority of the proponents of the "extraterrestrial faith" insist that the ancient gods and goddesses were simply alien visitors who exist in the material realm, just as we do).

I personally am very suspicious that the popular extraterrestrial narratives, which actually began to appear well before the Second World War and which have a long history of overlap (of ideas and of proponents) with detestable racist and elitist movements such as the eugenics movement, might well be a tool of the same groups who are fighting to preserve the kinds of feudal and colonialist mechanisms of exploitation and oppression brought about during that third phase described above (the period following the rise of Literalist Christianity). I mention some of these racist and elitist connections (such as those described in the despicable doctrines promulgated in the "Urantia Book") in a fairly-recent video entitled "Literalism and 'Alien Contact'."

Despite the sometimes-contentious nature of the above interview, I'm grateful to Alex for having me over to Skeptiko for another visit. I think that Alex is very appreciative of the evidence connecting the stars and the myths, and is very excited by the ramifications of that evidence (even if he and I have some disagreements about all of the details of those ramifications). He wants to jump straight from the evidence of a world-wide system of Star Myths directly to a supposed validation of extraterrestrial visitors, because that is a topic that is apparently important to him (even though it is one about which I have serious misgivings, as described above).

But I am convinced that disagreements and even debate can play a very positive role in forcing greater clarification of one's points (and, when necessary, re-examination of positions and the evidence in order to see where conclusions may need to be changed, or where additional analysis may be necessary).

I believe the most important distinction I would like to reiterate is a sharp dividing line between the clear evidence I have found which demonstrates the existence of a common world-wide system of celestial metaphor informing the myths of cultures on every inhabited continent and island of our planet and indeed forming their foundation, and the question of where this system came from and what it could mean (questions about which I have some definite opinions, but upon which I refuse to be dogmatic because I argue that we cannot possibly know at this point with the evidence that we have at hand -- probably because the origin of this system is far earlier than any civilization about which we have extensive evidence or any written record). We may well have more evidence about this second subject area at a later date, but at this time I do not believe anyone can speak dogmatically about it.

However, the myths themselves contain a wealth of evidence which helps us to begin to grasp more and more of their incredible and profound ancient message for our lives. And I firmly believe that the more we can learn to listen to them in the language they are actually speaking, the better opportunity we have to hear more of what they are trying to say -- and that the language that they are speaking is a celestial language, an esoteric language, and a metaphorical language, based on an incredible system of extreme antiquity, a precious inheritance from ancestors so distant we do not even know what to call them, but who are speaking to us in a language which we can actually decipher: the language of the stars.

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

The above interview was recorded on August 15, 2019. You can see the interview of my first visit to Skeptiko (from January of 2017) here.

Great post. Thank you for taking the time to write it up. Correct me if I’m wrong with what I say here. The Christian literalist thing was something that I had in mind (although I didn’t mention it) during my brief response to Gary above. The Biblical literalist position has caused all sorts of issues. It’s harder today for people to grasp what myths and legends used to mean to ancient cultures. They were a form of entertainment and of sharing and teaching valuable moral lessons and ideas.

Then we have people today who never lived in these societies who insist that these stories must all
be taken at literal face value when, much of the time, I’m not convinced that many of the authors of the Bible (particularly regarding the Old Testament) meant for their stories to always be taken as literal history in the first place. When somebody tells a Christian that one of the stories in their Bible was a myth, they take that as an insult. And, often, it’s MEANT as an insult. When in reality, these forms of lessons where strongly revered in the ancient world. Although, I do understand why a Christian might be made uneasy by this, it is none-the less the way that societies used to pass information down. It’s hard to take the story of Jonah living in the belly of a whale for several days literally, as it is with several other stories. But if we poke and prod, we can surely find or surmise at what the intended point or lesson of the story might have been.

For sure there is real history to be found in the Bible, but it’s obviously mixed with mythology, which is exactly what one would expect from a culture of that time.

Here is a quote from an article:

Church father Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) wrote of the need for reason in interpreting Jewish and Christian scripture, and of much of the Book of Genesis being an extended metaphor.[13] But Augustine also implicitly accepted the literalism of the creation of Adam and Eve[citation needed], and explicitly accepted the literalism of the virginity of Jesus's mother Mary.[14]

So, it seems this problem of “what is real history and what is allegory?” Was a problem for thinkers as far back as Augustine, and perhaps before. Nowadays, it seems that people fall into one of two erroneous camps. 1) The Bible is all literally true from a strict historical standpoint or 2) The entire Bible is essentially fabricated. I think both positions are equally weak.

There are also known changes from older Biblical manuscripts when compared to newer ones. Although these changes are generally very minor and do not affect overall Christian doctorine. Bart Ehrman has a good book on that topic. But perhaps I am meandering from the the threads topic a bit here. Apologies.
 
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#29
While there is no doubt that observation of the night sky may have assisted navigation there are a bunch of reasons why this cannot have been a primary function:
  • Observation to develop the depth of knowledge displayed required millennia of highly disciplined observation from a fixed point.
  • Mesoamerican star lore exhibits awareness of deep cycles that had to have had a long history of observation and calculation.
  • Our ancient ancestors understood the circa 25,920 year cycle of the progression of the equinoxes. The common belief is that this idea was 'discovered' by a Greek in circa 200BCE, but alternative arguments push that date back many millennia
  • So how long would we have to observe the stars closely and carefully before such a theory could be developed?
It is more likely that navigational applications came after stellar observation had matured at fixed points.

In fact I would argue that astronomical observation from a fixed point over time would have necessitated the development of agriculture more than any other human activity - especially if there was a profound existential motive for doing so. No other human activity demanded fixed and enduring points of reference.
To be clear, I am assuming that someone told them how to use the stars to navigate - not that they figured that out from scratch - so yes there is an injection of knowledge involved. However that may be the only significance of the stars.

This conversation seems to mirror the rather heated discussion near the end of the podcast.

@dwm Thanks for joining - is that what you are suggesting - i.e. that the star positions have no significance in themselves, but that ancient people accessed the information on how to use this information to navigate, along with other information. I confess I got a bit lost in the podcast discussion!

David
 
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#30
Dwm,

I wonder vaguely if there are some crossed lines between you and Alex. There have been many discussions here as to whether extraterestrials are physical, mental, or some blend of the two. Certainly government reports on these phenomena have noted that there seems to be some direct action on the mind.

However I think (my mind is a bit of a blur after listening to the last part of your podcast) Alex is pointing out that other ways of accessing the other realm, such as OBE's, NDE's, psychedelics etc do not seem to reference the constellations.

David
 
#31
if you have a chance to take a deep dive into david's work you'll see that the myths go way way beyond navigation stuff. we're really talking about a system of perennial wisdom. bible stories in the sky. homer's iliad in the sky.

moreover, I would suggest that this doesn't look like anything that would accidentally/organically/independently emerge into myth:
View attachment 1265

I don't know about you but I see a lot of different ways to connect these dots :)

I didn't mean to imply that the system was merely navigational in it's nature and purpose. I was trying to make the suggestion that we're talking about a container for all sorts of information. Seriously, check out Lynne Kelly's work on memory systems (can't recall if it was you or Gordon White that interviewed her), specifically with regard to what Australian aboriginals are doing with both place and the stars. Bruno's art of memory is relevant here too, especially in the way that it's used in conjunction with hermetic, kabbalistic, and alchemical concepts and information systems.

That said, I'm completely convinced that we're talking about a deep psycho-spiritual wisdom system that is thousands of years old. Given that the encoded themes are strongly consistent with other known modes of transmission, I agree with your point in the interview that it is difficult to suss out the ultimate significance of this particular vehicle beyond it's age and what that might imply. I mean, the structure does seem to be known by the most influential artists and intellectuals of our ancient and recent past. This suggests a grand conspiracy. There is some convincing evidence outside of Mathis's work that there was an originating group--or groups--that put their focus on the stars and that their identity is lost to common knowledge. It also seems pretty clear that they were of the northern hemisphere and that their influence seeded pretty much every known civilization. However, I personally haven't seen any evidence that the originators of the system need be from a space-fairing civilization, Atlantis, controlled by reptilians, or even transmitted by ascended masters--though I don't rule any of those out. Wherever it comes from it may be more human than human and access to it seems to be our birthright if we have the will to take it. It seems to me that this is also where Mathis has positioned himself. Where Mathis fails to deliver in his interviews (and you pressed him on this repeatedly without giving him the time to collect himself for the answer), is what all this means for us right now. What I think it means, is that Mathis and others before him have identified one more giant sign post saying, "Hey! It's time for you to get your story back in line with the template!--to live according to a new culturally relevant body of myth who's purpose is to uplift and enlighten both the individual and all of creation. To quote Jung in The Red Book, "The task is to give birth to the old in a new time."

This is what it takes to transition into the new age successfully.
 
#32
Thank you to Alex and the Skeptiko community for graciously having me over for another conversation!

I have written a blog post here in which I attempt to give more coherent form to the position that I was trying to articulate during our discussion:
https://www.starmythworld.com/mathi...iko-a-sometimes-contentious-discussion-ensues

I will post that below for ease of reference as well.......
Thanks for this, David. I've just been back to review your original interview with Alex. It's podcast #337 and for my money is a much clearer interview than this latest one. I've also refreshed my memory about some of the posts, including my own, on the related forum discussion. I'm linking to that lest others might raise issues and questions already addressed there.

I guess my question is, why has Alex interviewed you a second time? Is it because you've just released a new book? If so, is it this one? Does it contain an overview of your findings? I notice that your books on Amazon don't seem to have Kindle versions -- which is what I'd prefer -- maybe that's because of difficulties including lots of illustrations, I can't be sure.

Is there a single, or a few articles/posts on your website that would serve as an overview? You'll appreciate that you have a lot of material and that some might find that very helpful. I'll just add that having Kindle versions of your books might increase sales and hence spread greater awareness of your thesis.
 
#33
thank you for sharing this outstanding post with all of us! Yr the man! we're all enriched by yr work.


Indeed, he apparently feels that my research validates a possibility about which he is very excited --visitation by extraterrestrials -- and he was very eager to get me to agree with him on that explanation.
I realize that's the way it might have sounded but that wasn't really my intent. my point is more that description of the spreading of this perennial wisdom the world has certain characteristics about it that deserve more attention. for example:
- what might have been the purpose for spreading this kind of perennial wisdom? spiritual question? social control? one world government?

- what kind of technology would be necessary spread this wisdom?

- is there evidence that it was taught in a particular way?

- were instructions given regarding how and how not to spread it and pass it on? are there similarities / differences regarding this point across cultures?

- in what ways are the origin stories re the star myths similar/different than stories of the star people?

- if you had to pin down a date range for the origin of the star myths what would it be? how much does it vary from culture to culture?

you say:
many vocal extraterrestrial advocates... who almost universally argue that "the ancient myths actually document extraterrestrial contact" and that "the beings described in the myths as gods were actually visitors from other planets."
- maybe, but I never said that.

not that you asked my opinion, but my hunch is that our planet has experienced many waves of ET visitation since its origin. and those visitations would include many different visitors with many different agendas. of course, I don't know this for sure but it seems like a logical conclusion if we accept a non-human intelligence that seems to have the ability to transcend, or at least very effectively manipulate time and space.

- the popular alternative to this which only goes as far as the latest DOD video seems hopelessly limited.

-- my logic:
DOD UFO Vids (leaving aside for a minute the mountains and mountains and mountains and mountains of other evidence) = ET
- this should be self-evident, but it's not. it wasn't nazis. it wasn't ferries. it was ET in those UFOs
ET = Contact/Abduction
- call it what you want, ET has come in physical and metaphysical contact with us
Contact = Program/Agenda
- they're here for a reason... overwhelmingly reported by contactees
they've been here for a long time = probably forever = we are probably them, they are probably us (hybrid)

The evidence that I have been writing about actually refutes and even disproves that widely-repeated hypothesis (that the supernatural beings and marvelous events described in the ancient myths are extraterrestrials) by showing that the figures and episodes described in the world's ancient myths are metaphorical, rather than literal.
- why do you think this refutes ET mythmaking. why assume one or more of the groups of visitors were incapable of metaphor?

The gods and goddesses who move through the world's myths are realities and powers of the spiritual realm, an Invisible Realm which interacts with and indeed interpenetrates our physical realm,
- isn't this what contactees are telling us:
Beyond UFOs: The Science of Consciousness ... - Amazon.com
This 820 page book details the academic research findings of the world's first comprehensive multi-language quantitative and qualitative 5 year academic ...

- I can't really go through this point-by-point, but in general how about we cut the ancient alien folks a little slack here. I mean, their overall contribution to our understanding of ET has been phenomenally historic. I have nothing but respect for those guys.

So let's imagine this scenario: a good/consciously-evolved ET group visits earth and tells folks the good news. they do this because they're plugged into the larger spirituality / truth... same as saints, visionaries and near-death experiencers have encountered throughout time.

over the course of the next couple of thousand years they continue to stay in contact with these good old ancient folks through shamanic journeys, dreams, STEs and occasional visitations. they nudge, guide, and mentor, but don't demand adherence to their system of wisdom. but they do for the benefit of all, suggest a method by which this wisdom can be transmitted to future generations. Star Myths. since we're talking about 1000s of years here, there's a lotta room for differences in the final stories that emerge.

Of course I'm not saying this is the way it all came down, but I'm saying that if it did then my buddies at ancient aliens would be a lot closer to "right" than "wrong"
 
#34
  • the period after the rise of Literalist Christianity, during which the ancient wisdom contained in the myths was deliberately and aggressively stamped out, beginning in the region controlled by the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean, and then expanding into western Europe and northern Europe, resulting in a tragic disconnection from the ancient wisdom, and leading to the establishment of feudalism in Europe (and as far east as Russia) and eventually to the establishment of colonial powers (primarily situated in western Europe) who then continued to expand around the globe and work to stamp out connections to the ancient wisdom wherever it had survived (usually replacing them with Literalist Christianity, which is a political, empire-building system), a process which continues to this day.
Stamping out the ancient wisdom by Christianity and Western civilization also involved stamping out human sacrifice in the western hemisphere, head hunting in the pacific islands, immolation of widows on their husband's funeral pyres in India, and other practices across the globe that the world is a better place without.

And might it not be somewhat unfair call a religion which produced the Book of Revelations, so many parables in the bible, and the allegories of later Christian writers as "literalist".

From a brief look at your web site it seems to me that with all those star myths in the bibile, Christianity has done well to preserve the star myths and since the bible is the most read book in the world it has done much to spread them too.

And Western technology (with its roots in Christianity - see below*) including the printing press have preserved what remnants of the star myths still survive.

The reason we have so little information about the cultures of our remote past is not just because they lacked writing. It is because loss of culture is a common phenomenon when two cultures meet and one supersedes another. This has happened innumerable times throughout human history. In our own time we see Islam doing this. Singling out Christianity and Western Civilization for special criticism is fashionable these days but it is problematical because it creates the misimpression that these cultural influences are harmful when in fact they have reduced human suffering immeasurably in untold ways. This fashionable misunderstanding can lead to loss of advances that we take for granted which billions of people across the globe are benefiting from. If we don't understand history we are condemned to repeat it.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/video-lecture-by-john-lennox-explains.html
Jürgen Habermas​
For the normative self-understanding of modernity, Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of a continual critical reappropriation and reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we must draw sustenance now, as in the past, from this substance. Everything else is idle postmodern talk​
Behind the European Declaration of Human Rights lies Christianity, behind universities, hospices, hospitals, lies Christianity, behind the abolition of slavery lies Christianity. It is a delusion that Christianity has done no good what so ever.​
Richard Feynman​
Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure — the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit.​
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry​
We have forgotten just how deep a cultural revolution Christianity wrought. In fact, we forget about it precisely because of how deep it was: There are many ideas that we simply take for granted as natural and obvious, when in fact they didn't exist until the arrival of Christianity changed things completely. Take, for instance, the idea of children.​
...​
Various pagan authors describe children as being more like plants than human beings. And this had concrete consequences.​
...​
Children were rudely brought up, and very strong beatings were a normal part of education. In Rome, a child's father had the right to kill him for whatever reason until he came of age.​
...​
One of the most notorious ancient practices that Christianity rebelled against was the frequent practice of expositio, basically the abandonment of unwanted infants.​
...​
Another notorious practice in the ancient world was the sexual exploitation of children.​
...​
But really, Christianity's invention of children — that is, its invention of the cultural idea of children as treasured human beings — was really an outgrowth of its most stupendous and revolutionary idea: the radical equality, and the infinite value, of every single human being as a beloved child of God. If the God who made heaven and Earth chose to reveal himself, not as an emperor, but as a slave punished on the cross, then no one could claim higher dignity than anyone else on the basis of earthly status.​
Nancy Pearcey​
Contemporary atheist Luc Ferry says the same thing. We tend to take the concept of equality for granted; yet it was Christianity that overthrew ancient social hierarchies between rich and poor, masters and slaves. "According to Christianity, we were all 'brothers,' on the same level as creatures of God," Ferry writes. "Christianity is the first universalist ethos."​
James Hannam in firstthings.com​
*"... the "scientific revolution" was a continuation of developments that started deep in the Middle Ages among people whose scientific work expressed their religious belief. ... Given the advantages Christianity provided, it is hardly surprising that modern science developed only in the West, within a Christian civilization."​
[more at the link]​
 
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#35
To be clear, I am assuming that someone told them how to use the stars to navigate - not that they figured that out from scratch - so yes there is an injection of knowledge involved. However that may be the only significance of the stars.
Okay. That's a moot point in a way. There's a lot of evidence of recovered knowledge injected into post-cataclysmic 'surviving' communities - but whether that extends to navigation can't be tested. I like Robert Temple's observation that our ancestors were intense observers of their world. Reports of navigation in the Pacific show reliance on multiple subtle factors, with stars being part of a suite of sources - suggesting maybe learned observational skills rather than given.
 
#36
Singling out Christianity and Western Civilization for special criticism is fashionable these days but it is problematical because it creates the misimpression that these cultural influences are harmful when in fact they have reduced human suffering immeasurably in untold ways. This fashionable misunderstanding can lead to loss of advances that we take for granted which billions of people across the globe are benefiting from. If we don't understand history we are condemned to repeat it.
There's a lot to agree with here. Christianity was a two edged sword though. It also enabled brutality. I don't mind the fashionable criticism if it fuels self-reflection, but it is true that this can turn into a Cultural Mea Culpa cult that become self-loathing - generating muddled sentimentality as the basis for beliefs and values. However the same is true of the overly protective of tradition too - only an excessive loathing of other.

The spread of Christianity in Europe has been seen as an oppressive over-running of pagan traditions, but a closer look suggests that the adoption was probably more often freely undertaken - by the ruling class initially. Christianity certainly fuelled the spread of literacy, and that accelerated developments we have come to value intensely.

If we step back from emotive and political interpretations it is more sensible to see Christianity as the spiritual equivalent of the motor car's development - creating and destroying, helping and hurting - delivering transformative energies as part of an intense evolutionary impulse. I am no fan of Christianity. I merely acknowledge it as a reality and try to see it for what it was/is.
 
#37
James Hannam in firstthings.com*"... the "scientific revolution" was a continuation of developments that started deep in the Middle Ages among people whose scientific work expressed their religious belief. ... Given the advantages Christianity provided, it is hardly surprising that modern science developed only in the West, within a Christian civilization."
What Hannam neglects to observe is that Christianity repressed intellectual thought and it was the recovery of Greek and Hermetic thought that kicked off the modern age. Also we are deeply indebted to Islamic thinkers and scientists - that's why the word Chemistry derives from an Arabic root. Also let's remember that the liberating notion of Zero came to us from India. And of course the 'Arabic numerals' we rely on also came from India via Islam.

What Western civilisation had going for it was a combination of what Christianity offered via monastic settings that enabled deep thought, an emergent pragmatic secularism supported by religious sentiment (not all Christian) and sufficient political stability to allow the opportunities to be exploited. That last thing is what Islam failed to sustain - even though it started off streets ahead.

Christianity was a significant contributing agent, but not the sole cause. The 'scientific revolution' really took off when Europeans adopted the lens, and when Greek thought was recovered and Hermetic thought revived. It was when Christianity's worst oppressive attributes were weakened. This is why we have an historic period called The Renaissance. It was the breaking free of theological over-reach.
 
#38
There's a lot to agree with here. Christianity was a two edged sword though. It also enabled brutality. I don't mind the fashionable criticism if it fuels self-reflection, but it is true that this can turn into a Cultural Mea Culpa cult that become self-loathing - generating muddled sentimentality as the basis for beliefs and values. However the same is true of the overly protective of tradition too - only an excessive loathing of other.

The spread of Christianity in Europe has been seen as an oppressive over-running of pagan traditions, but a closer look suggests that the adoption was probably more often freely undertaken - by the ruling class initially. Christianity certainly fuelled the spread of literacy, and that accelerated developments we have come to value intensely.

If we step back from emotive and political interpretations it is more sensible to see Christianity as the spiritual equivalent of the motor car's development - creating and destroying, helping and hurting - delivering transformative energies as part of an intense evolutionary impulse. I am no fan of Christianity. I merely acknowledge it as a reality and try to see it for what it was/is.
That’s were I’m at in my thinking. We can’t deny the benefits that Christianity has brought society, along with a few horrors. Have the positives outweighed the negatives? It probably depends upon who you ask, but overall there have been some profound benefits to society. But do we need it going forward? I think we can do better. The sooner we can move away from dogmas, especially fear based dogmas like the Christian dogma of hell and salvation, the better we will be for it. The sooner we can move towards showing people the universal power of love and compassion without the fear based dogma, the better we will be for it. The threats of Christian dogma aren’t healthy. We have Christians walking around with the fear of Hell and purgatory driven into them. It also can cause a lot of judgmental thinking. This is really fear based thinking at its worst. What do extended consciousness experiencers and wise men tell us about fear? It’s the opposite of love. It’s incredjbly counterproductive and markedly dangerous for your powerful consciousness to be polluted with such doctorine. Christianity has introduced many people to the power and truth of love and compassion, but we don’t need it for that anymore. We get this truth more powerfully from all these extended consciousness realms. We get it from NDErs. We get if from the writings of people like Yogananda. We get it from channeled information, and we get it from these areas without the needless and fruitless threats of damnation and judgement. And we get it without the thought limiting phenomenon of fixed dogma, which is another stumbling block to our exploration of reality.

One can appreciate something for what it’s given us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t evolve and stay limited by it
 
#39
That’s were I’m at in my thinking. We can’t deny the benefits that Christianity has brought society, along with a few horrors. Have the positives outweighed the negatives? It probably depends upon who you ask, but overall there have been some profound benefits to society.
I don't think the answer is 'probably'. Its a definite Yes. The more useful question, I believe, is whether Christianity was a cause or a carrier. I think one of the reasons why we see Christianity as such a problematic faith is that it has tried to assert itself as cause, when it is merely the carrier. To explain, I think we have evolutionary impulses that come from the divine - and how they play out on Earth depends on complex factors.

So the core of Christianity is a profound and transformative message about Love. But the faith is implicated invasion, dispossession and genocide. How is that possible? How is it possible that the followers of Jesus torture and murder dissenters? If we rather see that the 'seed' of Love was 'sown' in the beginning, then the transformative agency is deposited where it can find purchase in the mechanisms of social and cultural disruption. As a carrier sometimes the potential is clear and other times not so much.
 
#40
Behind the European Declaration of Human Rights lies Christianity, behind universities, hospices, hospitals, lies Christianity, behind the abolition of slavery lies Christianity.
I disagree. It's fine to say that many spiritually enlightened people belonging to the same religious cult have managed to tap into some deep profound spiritual truths and have thereby been guided towards doing good in the world, but it's wrong IMO to give the institution of Christianity the credit.

It is a delusion that Christianity has done no good what so ever.
sure, but "no good whatsoever" is a pretty low standard.[/QUOTE]
 
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