David Mathisen is changing the way we think about Hercules |337|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    David Mathisen is changing the way we think about Hercules |337|
    by Alex Tsakiris | Jan 3 | Spirituality

    Share
    Tweet
    SHARES0
    [​IMG]

    David Mathisen has discovered an ancient, language told through the constellations of the night’s sky.[​IMG]
    photo by: Skeptiko
    Alex Tsakiris:
    Today we welcome David Mathisen to Skeptiko. David is theauthor of Star Myths of the World, Volume One, Two and Three, along with several other books we might talk about. But those Star Myths books I was just alluding to are quite amazing. I mean, here’s a collection of over 2,000 pages of diagrams, illustrations and analysis of the stars, the constellations and the myths surrounding those constellations, and also, just our enduring fascination with the night sky….

    Alex Tsakiris: …we all know there’s these constellations. We all know there’s these myths. But explanation you get in Astronomy 101 is very different from what you’re saying. If someone’s going to school right now, what are they learning about the constellations and these myths?

    David Mathisen: …if a connection between the myths and the constellation is alleged or acknowledged, it is commonly explained away as primitive early humans looking at the world around them, awesome forces, thunderstorms, earthquakes, volcanoes, had to explain it. They didn’t have science, so they said well, there’s a God in the volcano and he or she is mad right now.

    And so it’s like these primitive gropings became more and more sophisticated as we moved along… Finally, we had time to look at the stars and do science and primitive science and then it got it better and better, and at the same time, the myths are getting a little bit smoother and smoother…

    What I was trying to kind of say at the beginning is these myths are evidence of incredible spiritual sophistication because I believe—I’ve got a lot of reasons for believing this—that they are being used as an incredible spiritual metaphor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
    Ian Gordon likes this.
  2. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,146
    Hi Alex -- the link to the show podcast doesn't appear to work. I can only get to the show via the Skeptiko site itself.
     
  3. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    strange... I just tested and it seems to work for me. Is anyone else having problems with the /feed?
     
  4. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    It works for me, but as Michael said, from the Skeptiko site itself, not via the link at the top of this forum thread page. I don't know if this is mentioned in the podcast (just started listening), but you can also download Mathisen's film/presentation, using Video Download Helper, from the same link. It's also on Youtube:
     
    K9! likes this.
  5. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,146
    Exactly. The link to the podcast from this page we're currently on doesn't seem to work.
     
  6. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,146
    Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

    What do you make of David's theory: do the constellations and their associated myths point to an ancient system of spiritual knowledge that has somehow been passed down to us through the night sky?
     
  7. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    sorry, I didn't understand. fixed now.
     
  8. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,146
    What do you make of David's theory: do the constellations and their associated myths point to an ancient system of spiritual knowledge that has somehow been passed down to us through the night sky?

    I've been to David's site but haven't really been able to piece together his thesis, and nor did the interview gel into one for me. If there's some concise overview of it, that might be helpful. As it is, not being able to grasp the outline, I can't at the moment come up with a useful comment. If anyone knows of such an overview, please post a link.

    I'm reminded somewhat of the Velikowsky stuff, which provides, in conjunction with electric universe theory, a fairly coherent picture of the source of ancient myths arising in many different terrestrial cultures. However, for me, David's stuff isn't yet as clear.
     
    Ian Gordon and morvern_c like this.
  9. morvern_c

    morvern_c New

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    74
    I agree. Really interesting and I am open to the idea of all myths essentially containing the same characters and being related to the stars. But I don't quite understand what that relationship actually means.

    A brief visit to David's site did not provide much elucidation.
     
    Ian Gordon likes this.
  10. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    David has posted:
    Welcome to new visitors from Skeptiko -- and to returning friends!

    January 3, 2017


    [​IMG]
    Thank you to Alex Tsakiris for having me over to Skeptiko: Science at the Tipping Point for a conversation about Star Myths and humanity's ancient past.

    Skeptiko takes its name from the ancient Greek philosophical school which held that everything should be questioned and that certainty and dogma often function as a dangerous trap or mental prison (according to some traditions, the school was influenced by contact with the sadhus of ancient India). The Skeptiko website proclaims its ambition to:

    Follow the data . . . wherever it leads. Explore the possibility that science-as-we-know-it might be at a tipping point. Engage the top thinkers in pointed discussions about the questions that matter most. Treat all guests with respect.
    These are worthwhile goals, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to engage in "pointed discussion about the questions that matter most."

    Alex skillfully guided the conversation in a direction that examined some aspects of the Star Myth theory that do not always come up in other interviews on the subject -- I hope you will find it to be thought-provoking and enjoyable, as I did.

    Here is a link to listen to the interview in your browser.

    Here is a link you can use to download the interview file (you can "right-click" or "control-click" and then select "download linked file as . . . " in order to save the file to a folder and then transfer it to a device such as an iPod or other mp3 player).

    In the future, the interview may also appear on YouTube; if so, I will link to that video here as well.

    The following are some links to further reading about some of the subjects discussed in this interview, for those interested:

    • The "dining-room table" mental model for understanding the rotation of the constellations throughout the year.
    • The crucial concept of your Higher Self, found in many myths around the world, and its relation to practices such as meditation (and to the message of the Bhagavad Gita).
    • The evidence that an ancient cataclysm or catastrophe may have played an important role in the destruction of much or all of that lost ancient civilization (or civilizations).
    • Sample content from the books published so far in the Star Myths of the Worldseries, as well as my other publications.



    This interview was recorded on December 08, 2016.
     
  11. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    I struggled getting my arms around this (lots of personal cognitive dissonance :). I'll give you my take thus far:
    1. there are myths associated with specific constellations.
    2. similar myths among very old cultures, that almost certainly had no contact with each other (e.g. Pacific Islanders and Nordic people) are associated with the same constellations.
    3. The myths share a language (i.e. similarities in characters and actions) and offer common spiritual messages (e.g. seek your higher self).

    This seems to suggest that someone/something in our very distant past choose to communicate these messages thru a collection of stories tied to constellation visible in the night's sky. The implication of this are very far-reaching.
     
    hypermagda, Ian Gordon and morvern_c like this.
  12. morvern_c

    morvern_c New

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    74
    Thanks that's really helpful. I think I would find it most useful to hear more examples of the common spiritual messages. This would help me to work back, as it were, and examine the links between the message, the myth, and the constellation.

    I'm off to David's website.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  13. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,482
    Another possibility might be that once people have created such a set of myths, others can pick them up in an act somewhat akin to remote viewing. In other words, our ancestors might have put those myths there, but then psychics can pick them up in later eras.

    David
     
  14. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,146
    Thanks for this, Alex. My response is:

    1. I can accept that there might be myths associated with different constellations.

    2. If, as Velikowsky suggests, the planets weren't at one time in the same place they are now, but rather, closer to us, and there were various electrical phenomena associated with that proximity, then it wouldn't be a problem that ancient cultures weren't in contact. All human beings then extant could have seen the same events occurring in the sky and constructed similar myths based on identical observations.

    3. Likewise, similarities in descriptions between different languages wouldn't be all that surprising.

    I suppose it could be said that constellations -- those accidental alignments of stars that bear no actual relationship with one another -- are also real phenomena that can be seen from different places on earth. The similarity between myths in disparate places might not then seem quite so remarkable. It's merely a reflection of the fact that human beings, wherever they live, think in similar ways, and the constellations chosen were merely those most obvious to the human eye. The fact that there's an apparent "cosmic dance" performed by the constellations as the earth does what it does (rotates, precesses, nutates) is an added factor enabling myth complexification.

    The question is, do those myths merely reflect the similarity of ordinary human perception? Do they actually reflect human spirituality without the added gloss of human interpretation, some of which may have consciously been shaped by genuine spiritual experience or insight? The myths of the major religious traditions may to some extent parallel cosmic phenomena, but they all also weave in concepts of compassion, love, spiritual development, and so on, which originate from within human consciousness.

    I'm somewhat more inclined to think there's unusual means of communication between human beings than that celestial events have much to do with anything.
     
    AryaS likes this.
  15. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    David has offered to join this forum discussion, so this one for him. but I will point you to his website where he has dealt with this topic extensively: http://www.starmythworld.com/#intro
     
    Ian Gordon likes this.
  16. Alex

    Alex New

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    David Mathisen just emailed me and has agreed to join the forum discussion --- thx David.

    One of the first questions to toss around is why his thesis, which on the surface seems pretty easy to grasp, is so elusive. First off, gotta say that I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't immediately grasp the far reaching implications of what David has done. I think part of this has to do with our familiarity with these mythical figures (e.g. Hercules), and our familiarity with myths in general (thx Joseph Campbell). But I gotta say, the more I chew on the "cross-culture visual teaching aid in the might's sky" thing, the more I think it's a total game changer.
     
  17. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,146
    I just don't get what he's trying to say. I look forward to him coming here and spelling it out as concisely as possible.
     
  18. dwm

    dwm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Messages:
    36
    1. Pleased to have been invited to discuss my work with Alex & the Skeptiko community.
    2. If you're having trouble with it, I will summarize briefly below, but best way to understand what I'm arguing might be to a) listen to the entire interview, b) check out my main website at Star Myth World (dot com) and look over the intro page and then peruse the "Myths" section, c) go to the "Books" section of that page and click on the cover images of the Star Myths books and read through the sample content provided there (especially the introduction sections), d) check out the fully-searchable blog (also accessible thru that page), and (if you enjoy listening to other podcasts / interviews) check out the last blog post from 2016 which includes links to all previous interviews from 2016 (the Alchemy interview may be helpful).
    3. Brief summary of what is a broad subject follows:
    • The ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories of virtually every culture, from every inhabited continent as well as the scattered islands of the Pacific, are based upon a common system of celestial metaphor.
    • This system can be shown to use very specific constellational details and referents which make it very unlikely to have developed independently in so many different places and cultures, cultures often separated by vast distances, major oceans, and even great gulfs of time.
    • The system can be shown to have been in use in the earliest extensive texts we have today, including the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt and the cuneiform tablets of ancient Mesopotamia (such as those containing the Gilgamesh cycle).
    • The system can also be shown to have been operating in the texts and myths of ancient India, ancient China, and ancient Japan.
    • The system can be shown to underlie specific stories and characters in the myths of Africa, and even in the myths of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia (and note that conventional historians and anthropologists believe that the Aborigines were largely isolated from other contact for many thousands of years).
    • The constellational "clues" (distinctive characteristics which match to specific constellations) are not only clearly present in the myths and sacred stories, but also in ancient artwork, including surviving artwork from ancient Egypt, ancient Sumer & Babylon, ancient Greece, and even in rock art North America and carvings found in Central and South America, as well as in other parts of the world such as Java.
    • The evidence supporting all of the above assertions is so abundant that it is difficult to deny. Typical counterarguments such as "humans can spot patterns in anything" or "pareidolia" can be fairly confidently refuted by the abundance of extremely specific details in texts and in artwork, as well as repeating patterns of a fairly obscure nature which would be very unlikely to just pop up independently in many widely dispersed cultures on their own.
    • The presence of such a system has been noticed by others down through the centuries, even going back to ancient times. Often, just hints of it are mentioned, as if explorers to a remote jungle came back and reported on isolated sightings of ancient ruins. I became fascinated by these reports and became somewhat obsessed in trying to piece together the pattern that tied together all these various sightings and reports, and understanding the "big picture" shape or outline or purpose of the original structure.
    • The constellation outlining system published by H. A. Rey (famous for the creation along with his wife Margret of the Curious George books) provides us with tools to see the constellations in a way that helps us to see some of their distinctive features -- features which are referenced in the myths across multiple cultures (such as the outline of Sagittarius having a posture of "looking back over the shoulder," which is found in the story of Lot's wife in Genesis, and in the story of the captive girl Briseis in the Iliad, and in many others, or the outline of Aquarius being pitched forward as if running and perhaps losing his balance, which features in the Greek myths when characters are described as a "headlong runner," and in certain famous scenes in the Bible and in other stories around the world). H. A. Rey never said that his outline system matches up with the ancient myths (I say this so that no one accuses me of trying to say he was saying what I am saying) -- but because I have been very familiar with his constellation system since I was a child, I see its incredible usefulness for interpreting the ancient myths. I allege that the ancient myths appear to have envisioned the constellations in much the same way that Rey outlines them in his 1952 text. I also show that ancient artwork appears to match his constellation outlines very closely -- as does "sacred artwork" of Biblical scenes painted during the Middle Ages and right up through the end of the nineteenth century.
    • What does all of this mean? It is debatable.
    • However, I have reached some very definite conclusions of what I believe it may be doing in the world's ancient myths and scriptures and sacred stories. I believe the interplay of light and dark (in the daily cycle of day and night, and especially in the annual cycle demarcated by solstices and equinoxes, which define the interplay of daylight and hours of darkness) was used to explain the interplay of what we might call the Visible Realm and the Invisible Realm, or the Spirit World and the Material World. I believe that all of the myths evidence what might be (using the term in a sort of general way, while understanding that it is a term that has been abused and which does also have very precise meanings) a "shamanic worldview" in which there is a Spirit Realm that is always present but invisible and which interconnects and interpenetrates the material realm at every point (before some people dismiss this as impossible, it is notable that the writings of some theoretical physicists appear to describe something similar, albeit using different terminology).
    • The upper half of the zodiac wheel (the months between spring equinox and fall equinox which include the summer solstice) correspond to the spirit realm, and the lower half to the material realm (and to this incarnate life). The myths teach us truths about our human condition (in this incarnate life) and about the nature of the cosmos in which we find ourselves. They do so in very precise ways and give very specific teachings, once we can understand that they are speaking a celestial and esoteric language.
    • The Bible teaches the same shamanic worldview. It was at some point co-opted by those who wanted to tell people that it should be understood literally (as if teaching about historical figures and personages). This is a major mistake and leads to a complete inversion of its message -- and has led to all kinds of oppression in the roughly seventeen centuries since this literalist takeover was effected in the centuries commonly referred to as the third through fifth centuries AD.
     
  19. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,482
    I think we are all pleased that you have come on the forum! Please be aware that this forum is only very lightly moderated, so people are free to make comments of all descriptions, including (within limits) sceptical ones.

    Personally, I don't have anything like enough knowledge of the myths in the Bible, even though I was a Christian until about age 20. I have even less awareness of the details of the myths of other cultures. Therefore I am inclined to take you on trust that there are these similarities over a wide range of human cultures, and that it is unlikely that these ideas were spread in any 'normal' way.

    I am not quite sure if you are saying that these patterns were put into the sky by conscious actions of higher beings (HBs) (using the term very loosely), or whether the patterns are essentially random, but the constellations have been used as a metaphor by HBs in a consistent way down the ages.

    What I think you are saying, is that the images of H.A Rey resemble the various images that the ancients produced, more than either resemble the night sky. I mean, to me, you could draw almost any image on a piece of reasonably bright night sky (i.e. in the galactic plane) with as much correspondence with the actual stars!

    David
     
  20. gabriel

    gabriel New

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,644
    While the night sky is replete with suggestive simulacra, it is not the only immanent source of mythical juxtapositions. Rocks, trees, flames, mountains, animal migrations, prodigious weather conditions, all offered a narrative background to the human imagination, and were written into cultural frameworks.

    If we adopt an unfashionably anthropocentric view and combine it with religious dogma that insists creation is perfect, then that perfection must include shapes formed by stars and planets. However these forms are insufficiently lifelike to offer any but the vaguest cues to permanent meaning. If there's a logic to their form, particularly a cross-cultural meaning, it would require a mediating mythos or interpretative structure of which I'm yet to be convinced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    Sciborg_S_Patel likes this.

Share This Page