"Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

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"Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby davesmith_au » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:07 am

December 17, 2009 ~ David Talbott

We had no doubt that the DVD "Symbols of an Alien Sky" would inspire controversy, and it has. But it’s been gratifying to receive letters and personal comments on religious or spiritual belief in relation to the message of the DVD. I include two such letters below, along with my own responses. ... [More...]
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Plasmatic » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:36 am

Through internal vision, the wisest of men either set the myths aside or reinterpreted them to give them spiritual content. In this they helped to clear a space within human consciousness, giving room for the inner voice, for the sense of human equality and the kinship of life. Simply recognize myth for what it is and what remains within the great religions is the spark alive in every human being, the innate awareness that knows empathy and compassion, forgiveness, charity, and every virtue toward which the better portion of the religions always struggled, and from which the lesser sought to hide.

And just as one can reconstruct things seen in the sky by working with the points of cross-cultural agreement, one can find in the shared spiritual content of the great religions the universal principles of a new vision. In their own terms, the two layers of human experience have almost nothing in common

Not long ago, I remember a friend declaring, in effect (if not in these very words), “all religion is just a reification of the Saturn myth.” Perhaps the best antidote to this misperception is a very simple book by Jeffrey Moses, titled ONENESS. In it the author chronicles, in the words of the major religious scriptures, over 60 points of broad agreement — from the Golden Rule, to "judge not" and "give without thought of reward."

What stands out is a radical contrast to the content of the myth-making epoch.

that the myths themselves could never touch the deeper insights and principles shared by all of the religions.

To see myth as myth is to liberate oneself from the inertia of irrational, age-old beliefs that far outlasted any conscious memories of the celestial provocation itself.

What will remain, then, are the universal principles that require no myths for their validity, leaving sufficient internal space for human discernment and for deeper reconciliation



I just wanted to register my complete disagreement with all of the above. Mankind is deeply enslaved to the worst of the fruit of the myth making epic. Altruism, which is a centerpiece at the heart of the "ONENESS" [a saturnian concept if there ever was one] in all the religions, is nothing more than a continuation of the compulsory duty to the Gods. To offer sacrifice so that one may appease the whim of a power who's actions transcends ones comprehension in order that one may attain a hope of a lost state of perfection and divine order is central to the religious themes you give exception.

Man has replaced the Gods with duty to other men and countries replacing the divine heritage/lineage of kingship with collectivism and consensus based principles. The blending of ones self into a undifferentiated collective whole is at the heart of modern culture.

No one who is familiar with the reconstruction could deny the similarity of the "oneness"/wholeness/unity with the Saturnian myth earliest configuration with integrity.

I would love to hear the proposed cause to the "universal principles" cited as separate in origin from myth. If the "points of agreement" are the key to realizing a common cause of the myths of planetary and natural origin, what does the points of agreement in the “virtues” cited above say about their origin?


[Quoting from David Talbott's words elsewhere:]
For example, amending a story or adding a detail will always
create a contradiction between one version of a story and
another. But there is more to it than this. In addition to
observing the accumulation of contradictions, one must also
confront the underlying points of agreement between broadly
distributed cultures. Most significant are those points of
agreement on details so SPECIFIC that the agreement could not be
the result of accident or any suspected general tendencies of the
human mind. But this principle, absolutely crucial to the
comparative approach
http://www.kronia.com/thoth/ThotII13.txt

Remarkably, every motive of our early ancestors directs
our attention to experiences impossible to comprehend in terms of any
natural phenomena occurring today. This consistency will be seen even
at the most fundamental levels of human memory, in the most
deeply-rooted themes of the first civilizations--
........Such motives as these constitute, in fact, the most readily verifiable
underpinnings of ancient ritual, myth and symbol. How strange that in
their incessant glance backwards, the builders of the first
civilizations never remembered anything resembling the natural world in
which we live!

What is needed in the face of unusual but widely repeated memories is
brutal intellectual honesty. How did human consciousness, emerging from
the womb of nature, converge on the same improbable ideas
*contradicting* nature? For centuries we've lived under the illusion
that our ancestors simply made up explanations of natural phenomena they
didn't understand. But that's not the problem. What the myth-makers
interpreted or explained through stories and symbols and ritual
re-enactments is an unrecognizable world, a world of alien sights and
sounds, of celestial forms, of cosmic spectacles and earth-shaking
events that do not occur in our world. *That* is the problem.
From an evaluation of the global themes of ancient cultures, we have
hypothesized a world order never envisioned by mainstream theory--a
world in which *planets* moved on different courses, appearing huge in
the sky. Heaven-spanning celestial forms dominated human imagination to
the point of obsession at the time of civilization's birth.

Our contention will be that hundreds of ancient themes speak for a
unified experience
, an experience more specific in context and detail
than any of us had ever imagined when we started our research. No
universal theme stands alone or in isolation from any of the others.
All are connected. All speak for the presence of a coherent memory
beneath the surface of seemingly random detail.


In offering these summaries, I am not asking or expecting anyone to
embrace the extraordinary theory of planetary history involved, only to
consider highly interesting evidence. One of the values of this
re-interpretation of evidence is that the model *works*. It explains
the subject matter. Hence, whatever you may think of the claimed
events, merely discovering the active memory will throw remarkable new
light on the ancient structures of human consciousness.

In the course of these summaries, questions and challenges will be
welcome
, and wherever possible I will try to incorporate these into the
narrative as we go along.


http://www.kronia.com/saturn/satheory.txt

Ive taken your last sentence at its word. :)

My challenge then to you Dave is this; What makes the "universal principles" you claim are separate from myth, an exception to your foundational ground rules for polar reconstruction? What is your proposed "unifying experience" that makes the recurring themes you've given an exception to qualify as"virtues" rather than mythical reification?

With respect.
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification"......" I am therefore Ill think"
Ayn Rand
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Aristotle
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby David Talbott » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:26 am

Hi James,

I just happened to glance at the forum and noticed your challenge from a couple of days back. If I understand your question, you are asking on what basis I distinguish spiritual discernment from the roots of myth.

I do indeed hold that all meaningful “spiritual principles” constitute a liberation from the myth-making epoch, and the point seems quite obvious to me. If the principles were not a break from the momentum of mythological interpretation, they would not be meaningful. Like the mythic archetypes, the "universality" of certain spiritual principles can be confirmed by objective investigation, but that's not a reason to believe any of them, only a reason to ask the question, From what source did this unusual agreement arise? Did it arise from some external provocation, or possibly from a less coercive, less noisy, less disturbed heart of knowing within every human being?

As a rule, I think it’s essential to invite people who are following the reconstruction to find their own paths of exploration and discovery. Individuals of every conceivable philosophical, religious, and political persuasion are now immersing themselves in the reconstruction. Making issues out of our personal experiences and convictions can quickly become counterproductive. The result will be to discourage people from following a logical argument whose ground floor is not subjective at all, but constituted entirely of objective facts—the well-documented mythic archetypes.

My general preference is to speak up only when I see a principle of the reconstruction being misrepresented. For example, I’m not asking anyone to accept that empathy is essential to cultural health and integrity, even if I believe it is. It’s just that it would not be historically accurate to say that a teaching of empathy is a “reification of the Saturn myth.”

If someone says, “see every action of another as a either an expression of love, or a plea for love,” where did that unique perspective come from? Certainly not from terrifying planets in the sky.

The same issue is posed by the rise of pure philosophy, as when the archaic idea of the polar god, the stationary actor or driver of the heavens, emerged in Socratic and Aristotelian teachings as an abstract principle. Aristotle translated the tradition into a philosophical tenet, declaring that something in motion required an “actor” to set it in motion: "So it is clear that in all these cases the thing does not move itself, but it contains within itself the source of motion—not of moving something or of causing motion, but of suffering it." (See Aristotle, Physics 29-31).

To the east, however, others transformed the same underlying mythology into the idea of perfect rest, stillness, or silence, transforming the unmoved actor into the heart of consciousness, where they discovered something extraordinary and not colored or affected by myth at all. The Hindu Upanishads are a poignant example of this transformation before it was complete. Here the deeper principles are emerging to stand on their own, eventually to be freed entirely from myth.

Personally, I find the simplest spiritual teachings more interesting and more profound than Aristotle’s abstraction, but one thing is certain. In his metaphysics of the unmoved mover Aristotle has left the rich mythology of the polar god behind.

Nothing that is free from myth can be called a reification of myth just because a trail can be followed backward to the myth-making epoch. Prior to the industrial age, virtually all defining features of civilization, including the major spiritual and philosophical traditions, were inseparable from evolutionary threads leading back to the mythic age of the gods. That is why I've suggested that the Polar Configuration can be called the "Great Analogy." Civilization as a whole was its illustrative content.

In other words, I’ve not proposed that the rise of spiritual principles occurred in the absence of mythic traditions. Humanity’s deeper spiritual discernment involved a progressive reinterpretation of the myths across millennia, eventually leaving the myths behind. Whenever and wherever this has occurred a principle must stand on its own, supported only by a core of human discernment. Then, when a violation of the discerned principle occurs, it will be recognized, and over time a culture growing in its appreciation of the principle will refuse to indulge its violation. In earlier millennia slavery was commonly sanctioned and well-supported by mythological tradition. It was only “proper” — the "prescribed way" — to subject barbarians outside the gate to the same fate as the celestial chaos hordes, or clouds of darkness, with which they were globally identified.

Please keep in mind James, that nothing I’ve expressed here has anything to do with “altruism” as you defined it. You’ve defined altruism as a call to sacrifice, and you’re not alone in that. This common interpretation of altruism is the primary reason I never use the word. It’s quite a realization to discover that spiritual teachings, when freed entirely from myth, almost never urge sacrifice on anyone. In contrast, the first civilizations, arising in the shadow of cosmic catastrophe, found a thousand ways to incorporate sacrifice into their ritual and magical negotiations with the gods.

My own (highly subjective!) observation is that when a discerning teacher speaks of the unity beneath the natural world, the silent core of human consciousness, or the kinship of life, he is speaking from the vantage point of awakening human understanding, not of mythology. Even if one might reconstruct a path backward to the undifferentiated “primeval unity” of creation mythology, the point would remain that all historic reification of the Saturn myth has been shed. The principles in question are then emerging directly from, and finding their confirmation in, life experience, a present moment. But of course this is all my own subjective observation, even when I suggest that millions of humans are already on that path and that many more will come to walk it in due course. :)

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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Joe Keenan » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:44 am

I must admit to be at a loss here, how do the observations put forth in Alien Sky impact religion? Are there still people who worship the Greek pantheon? When I viewed Alien Sky I saw a logical explanation for, a lack of a better term, sky worship. I never could understand why ancient people worshiped twinkling lights, it seems much more logical that they didn't.
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby David Talbott » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:14 pm

Hi Joe,

The impact on religious beliefs will depend entirely on the extent to which one’s religious beliefs have been conditioned unwittingly by mythological themes and related misunderstandings that worked their way down through history. I’ll give just one instance among dozens: the sectarian claim to special ownership of a place where a god once stood. Every “holy” mountain, for example, involved this claim. In its origins this identification with a particular place was an innocent mistake, caused by the transmission of an archetype (myth of the world mountain) over many generations of storytelling and symbolic representation. In time, the local symbol came to be confused with the thing symbolized. The Greeks began to think that Olympus, from which the planet Saturn (Kronos) originally ruled the world, was actually the mountain they could still see. Zion is just a small hill in Palestine, but by its identification with the world mountain, the axis of the turning sky, it became the place where God stood in the creation. The tragedy is the horrific extent to which such a mistake led to misguided identifications and to “holy” war.

This is, of course, a subject that deserves much more than these few words, as I’m sure you’ll understand.

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"Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions, Part 2

Unread postby davesmith_au » Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:21 am

December 23, 2009 ~ David Talbott

After quoting substantially from my previous article, a reader and friend stated his "complete disagreement" with the heart of the piece ... His note emphasized again the importance of communication on sensitive issues raised by "Symbols of an Alien Sky." There will be no escaping the necessity of reconsidering assumptions on all sides of these issues.[More...]
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:50 am

Nor is it a certain conclusion from the data we possess that the early Aryan cultures - supposing the Celt, Teuton, Greek and Indian to represent one common cultural origin, - were really undeveloped and barbarous. A certain pure and high simplicity in their outward life and its organisation, a certain concreteness and vivid human familiarity in their conception of and relations with the gods they worshipped, distinguish the Aryan type from the more sumptuous and materialistic Egypto-Chaldean civilisation and its solemn and occult religions. But those characteristics are not inconsistent with a high internal culture. On the contrary, indications of a great spiritual tradition meet us at many points and negate the ordinary theory. The old Celtic races certainly possessed some of the highest philosophical conceptions and they preserve stamped upon them even to the present day the result of a nearly mystic and intuitional development which must have been of long standing and highly evolved to have produced such enduring results. In Greece it is probable that the Hellenic type was moulded in the same way by Orphic and Eleusinian influences and that Greek mythology, as it has come down to us, full of delicate psychological suggestions, is a legacy of the Orphic teaching. It would be only consonant with the general tradition if it turned out that Indian civilisation has throughout been the prolongation of tendencies and ideas sown in us by the Vedic forefathers. The extraordinary vitality of these early cultures which still determine for us the principal types of modern man, the main elements of his temperament, the chief tendencies of his thought, art and religion, can have proceeded from no primitive savagery. They are the result of a deep and puissant prehistoric development.
Comparative Mythology has deformed the sense of man's early traditions by ignoring this important stage in human progress. It has founded its interpretation on a theory which saw nothing between the early savage and Plato or the Upanishads. It has supposed the early religions to have been founded on the wonder of barbarians waking up suddenly to the astonishing fact that such strange things as Dawn and Night and the Sun existed and attempting in a crude, barbaric, imaginative way to explain their existence. And from this childlike wonder we stride at one step to the profound theories of the Greek philosophers and the Vedantic sages. Comparative Mythology is the creation of Hellenists interpreting un-Hellenic data from a standpoint which is itself founded on a misunderstanding of the Greek mind. Its method has been an ingenious play of the poetic imagination rather than a patient scientific research.
If we look at the results of the method, we find an extraordinary confusion of images and of their interpretations in which there is nowhere any coherence or consistency. It is a mass of details running in to each other, getting confusedly into each other's way, disagreeing yet entangled, dependent for their validity on the licence of imaginative conjecture as our sole means of knowledge. This incoherence has even been exalted into a standard of truth; for it is seriously argued by eminent scholars that a method arriving at a more logical and well-ordered result would be disproved and discredited by its very coherency, since confusion must be supposed to be the very essence of the early mythopoeic faculty. But in that case there can be nothing binding in the results of Comparative Mythology and one theory will be as good as another; for there is no reason why one particular mass of incoherence should be held to be more valid than another mass of incoherence differently composed.
There is much that is useful in the speculations of Comparative Mythology; but in order that the bulk of its results should be sound and acceptable, it must use a more patient and consistent method and organise itself as part of a well-founded Science of Religion. We must recognise that the old religions were organic systems founded on ideas which were at least as coherent as those which constitute our modern systems of belief. We must recognise also that there has been a perfectly intelligible progressive development from the earlier to the later systems of religious creed and of philosophical thought. It is by studying our data widely and profoundly in this spirit and discovering the true evolution of human thought and belief that we shall arrive at real knowledge. The mere identification of Greek and Sanskrit names and the ingenious discovery that Heracles' pyre is an image of the setting sun or that Paris and Helen are Greek corruptions of the Vedic Sarama and the Panis make an interesting diversion for an imaginative mind, but can by themselves lead to no serious result, even if they should prove to be correct. Nor is their correctness beyond serious doubt, for it is the vice of the fragmentary and imaginative method by which the sun and star myth interpretations are built up that they can be applied with equal ease and convincingness to any and every human tradition, belief or even actual event of history.[3] With this method we can never be sure where we have hit on a truth or where we are listening to a mere ingenuity. P29
[3] E.g. Christ and is twelve apostles are, a great scholar assures us, the sun and the twelve months. The career of Napoleon is the most perfect Sun-myth in all legend or history.
Sri Aurobindo, THE SECRET OF THE VEDA, PP27-29.
Aurobindo was educated in the Classics in England and spoke Greek and Latin. The book was written in the early C20th and in it Aurobindo clearly states that 'gods' are not gods but cosmic principles or energies and that these have their conterpart in the psychology of Man. In this, Aurobindo differs not one wit from ancient authors such as Plato nor modern ones such as Schwaller. Moreover, it should be noted that the psychology referred to in these ancient texts is of a subtlety and sophistication which is orders of magnitude beyond anything from the likes of Jung and Freud.
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby David Talbott » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:46 am

Grey Cloud, the issue to be addressed is not whether earlier religious traditions — or philosophical traditions, for that matter — may or may not have developed meaningful insights. The issue is whether world mythology as a whole, in particular the provable archetypes, were provoked by a lost spiritual “wisdom.” If that is what you are proposing, I would simply ask you to name the compelling wisdom in the Pyramid Texts of Egypt or early Sumerian and Babylonian sources, from which so much of Near Eastern religion, art, architecture, and philosophy descended.

I am, incidentally, very aware of Schwaller de Lubicz’s work, as well as that of his modern disciple, John Anthony West, with whom Wal Thornhill and I have shared a stage in the past. The fact that Egyptologists do not hold to the mystical position expressed is not, of course, a reason to dismiss it. The absence of evidence, and the presence of massive contrary fact, is the one good reason for not embracing the speculations involved.

I do, by the way, find Aurobindo's work of interest. It's fascinating to me that he perceived levels of coherence in myth, including widely distributed geometric symbolism and concepts of sacred space that the more conventional students of religion and myth typically give little or no attention.

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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby davesmith_au » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:52 am

At last Grey Cloud, we see from whence your disdain for the method of Comparative Mythology came! From a century or so ago. I don't see anything much I would disagree with in that piece, when taken in the context within which it was written.

But whilst you seem to hold great virtue in the author's knowing of several languages, you ignore the linguistic abilities of Rens van der Sluijs, who is multilingual to a degree you would find difficult to fathom.

And you scoff at Ev Cochrane, who has learned a good deal of Sumerian before making his own judgements about what the sSumerian writings say, rather than relying on interpretations of others. A very scholarly and worthy approach, wouldn't you think?

Rather than attempt to sidetrack the discussion with irrelevant material (to this thread, which is about Talbott's "Symbols of an Alien Sky") you would do well to put your prejudice aside and try to learn something from one or two of the modern scholars who have spent many thousands of hours in forensic study. That they've come to view gods as cosmic entities (planets) instead of principles is where following the evidence has led them. Should you be able to offer some evidence which contradicts their findings, then you may have something useful to add.

Cheers, Dave.
Last edited by davesmith_au on Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed "sandscrit" to "Sumerian" - shouldn't post at 5:00am... - DS
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:32 pm

Hi Dave Talbott,

Grey Cloud, the issue to be addressed is not whether earlier religious traditions — or philosophical traditions, for that matter — evolved coherent visions. The issue is whether world mythology as a whole, in particular the provable archetypes, were provoked by a lost spiritual “wisdom.”
That is your interpretation of the issue but I do not differentiate between religion, philosophy and mythology. I maintain that the three are the same; that at the heart of all three is the same Perennial Philosophy or the Ancient Wisdom or what Schwaller terms the Sacred Science. This is not some tin-pot theory of my own but has been written about by authors as divers as Plato, Leibniz, Aldous Huxley and Joseph Campbell, to name only a few westerners.

I do not dispute that archetypes exist, what I do dispute is your interpretation of them. I fail to recognise some of your archetypes – ‘chaos hordes’ come to mind here. Archetypes fit into the Perennial Philosophy quite naturally without the need for ‘collective amnesia’, trauma or a re-arrangement of the solar system.

If that is what you are proposing, I would simply ask you to find that compelling wisdom in the Pyramid Texts of Egypt or early Sumerian and Babylonian sources, from which so much of Near Eastern religion, art, architecture, and philosophy descended.
As far as the Pyramid Texts go, I would defy anyone to glean anything meaningful from them until they are translated by someone who understands the underlying philosophy of the Egyptians. As to the compelling wisdom, surely it is evidenced in the architecture of the Egyptians? You say you are ‘very aware of the work of Schwaller’ so I don’t know if that means you have read his material. If you have you will be aware of the amount of detail and intellectual sophistication which Schwaller gleaned from his study of Egypt. In the seven books of his which I have read, I do not recall reading anything which would hint at a frightened or traumatised people.

The Sumerians and Babylonians, according to the mainstream academics, appear virtually out of nowhere complete with mathematics, a refined astrology, a written language and several other ‘modern’ achievements. The Epic of Gilgamesh is, among other things, an alchemical text.

The fact that Egyptologists do not take the mystical position expressed is not, of course, a reason to dismiss it. The absence of evidence, and the presence of massive contrary fact, is the one good reason for not embracing the speculations involved.
I do not understand what you mean by ‘the speculation involved’. If you are referring to Schwaller’s work, then what is speculative about it? His evidence is well documented in his two-volume magnum opus THE TEMPLE OF MAN is it not?

The point Aurobindo is making in the passage I posted is that the earliest written records we have evidence a mature and sophisticated philosophy and, conversely, we do not see evidence of primitive beliefs becoming more evolved as humans become more, allegedly, intelligent. E.g. the philosophy of Orphism is the same philosophy as Plato’s and this same philosophy can be found in Greek myth.

It's fascinating to me that he perceived levels of coherence in myth, including widely distributed geometric symbolism and concepts of sacred space that the more conventional students of religion and myth typically give little or no attention.
It is fascinating to me too but the less conventional students of myth have always given this their attention. Or at least for the last two thousand years or so they have.
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:37 pm

Hi Dave Smith,

At last Grey Cloud, we see from whence your disdain for the method of Comparative Mythology came! From a century or so ago.
I do not have a disdain for Comparative Mythology. If I have disdain of anything it is of most, but not all, of the conclusions drawn by academic mythologists. And are you suggesting that authors have a sell-by date?

I don't see anything much I would disagree with in that piece, when taken in the context within which it was written.
I do not understand what you mean by ‘the context within which it was written’.

But whilst you seem to hold great virtue in the author's knowing of several languages, you ignore the linguistic abilities of Rens van der Sluijs, who is multilingual to a degree you would find difficult to fathom.
I mentioned Aurobindo’s education in the Classics and his knowing Greek and Latin to show that he was someone who had a deep knowledge of both the Eastern and Western traditions and was not just another Eastern mystic. Some people are terribly prejudiced, you know.

I do not ignore the linguistic abilities of Rens v.d. Sluijs’, nor, I imagine, would I find them difficult to fathom.

And you scoff at Ev Cochrane, who has learned a good deal of sandskrit before making his own judgements about what the sandskrit writings say, rather than relying on interpretations of others. A very scholarly and worthy approach, wouldn't you think?
I scoff at Cochrane for his conclusions and choice in book titles. I commend him on his learning ‘a good deal’ of Sanskrit [sic]. Many Indian Sanskrit scholars spend a lifetime studying the language and never exhaust the complexities, nuances and subtleties. Aurobindo is a good example.

Reliance upon the translations others is indeed a problem It can, however, be offset somewhat by knowing one’s translator’s, e.g., I use Thomas Taylor and George Chapman for my Platonic and Homeric requisites.

Rather than attempt to sidetrack the discussion with irrelevant material (to this thread, which is about Talbott's "Symbols of an Alien Sky") you would do well to put your prejudice aside and try to learn something from one or two of the modern scholars who have spent many thousands of hours in forensic study. That they've come to view gods as cosmic entities (planets) instead of principles is where following the evidence has led them. Should you be able to offer some evidence which contradicts their findings, then you may have something useful to add.
This was not an attempt to sidetrack anything. It was, though I should have made this explicit, a response to certain comments by DT in his reply to Plasmatic:

I do indeed hold that all meaningful “spiritual principles” constitute a liberation from the myth-making epoch, and the point seems quite obvious to me. If the principles were not a break from the momentum of mythological interpretation, they would not be meaningful. Like the mythic archetypes, the "universality" of certain spiritual principles can be confirmed by objective investigation, but that's not a reason to believe any of them, only a reason to ask the question, From what source did this unusual agreement arise? Did it arise from some external provocation, or possibly from a less coercive, less noisy, less disturbed heart of knowing within every human being?


The same issue is posed by the rise of pure philosophy, as when the archaic idea of the polar god, the stationary actor or driver of the heavens, emerged in Socratic and Aristotelian teachings as an abstract principle. Aristotle translated the tradition into a philosophical tenet, declaring that something in motion required an “actor” to set it in motion: "So it is clear that in all these cases the thing does not move itself, but it contains within itself the source of motion—not of moving something or of causing motion, but of suffering it." (See Aristotle, Physics 29-31).


To the east, however, others transformed the same underlying mythology into the idea of perfect rest, stillness, or silence, transforming the unmoved actor into the heart of consciousness, where they discovered something extraordinary and not colored or affected by myth at all. The Hindu Upanishads are a poignant example of this transformation before it was complete. Here the deeper principles are emerging to stand on their own, eventually to be freed entirely from myth.


In other words, I’ve not proposed that the rise of spiritual principles occurred in the absence of mythic traditions. Humanity’s deeper spiritual discernment involved a progressive reinterpretation of the myths across millennia, eventually leaving the myths behind.


My own (highly subjective!) observation is that when a discerning teacher speaks of the unity beneath the natural world, the silent core of human consciousness, or the kinship of life, he is speaking from the vantage point of awakening human understanding, not of mythology.
Aurobindo is arguing the opposite of the above passages. Two thousand years plus of perennialists from three continents argue the opposite of those passages.

I have spent many thousands of hours in study myself, as have many others. I still do not understand your use of the word ‘forensic’ in this context.

That they've come to view gods as cosmic entities (planets) instead of principles is where following the evidence has led them. Should you be able to offer some evidence which contradicts their findings, then you may have something useful to add.
That they've come to view gods as cosmic entities (planets) instead of principles is where their preconceptions have led them. They have concocted a theory and have trawled through the material looking for anything they can use as evidence. Not one Saturn theorist has come up with anything concrete which shows a re-arrangement of the solar system. That there is evidence of catastrophism does not mean that it is due to such a re-arrangement. The Perennial Philosophy, which maintains that the Universe operates according to cycles is supported by the ancient texts.

I have nothing to contradict their findings because they do not have any findings, only sweeping generalisations and constant repetitions.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby David Talbott » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:34 pm

Here's the problem Grey Cloud. As the title of this thread should make clear, it is about the implications of "Symbols of an Alien Sky" for our understanding of myth in the great religions. Instead of addressing the topic, you simply announce the superiority of your own opinions on the origins of myth. As far as I can see the opinions are based on virtually no familiarity with volumes of evidential support for the hypothesis in question, developed and discussed in books and articles for decades. But yes, I can see you've grown tired of the repeated efforts to direct you back to the purpose of the Forum and the groundrules on which the mythological reconstruction is founded.

If someone insists on ignoring the purpose of this thread, what is a moderator to do except to repeat what should be obvious to folks who've paid any attention to the factual information presented in the DVD?

Why don't you start a thread on the deep "wisdom" from which you believe the myths arose? Place it on the Human Question board. Cite Gerald Massey, Schwaller de Lubicz, Rene Guenon, Sri Aurabindo, John Anthony West, Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, or anyone you please.

You may not realize this, but I've read all of these folks very carefully — and many more as well, all in one way or another appealing to "hidden knowledge" in myth. They do not agree with each other. Gerald Massey's Ancient Egypt: Light of the World was one of the first books I purchased when I started the research in early '72. In fact I credit him with having been the first to direct my attention to the polar location of what I came to call the "primeval sun." But in the end, I could see beyond a shadow of a doubt that his overarching claim, attributing catastrophe myths to the precession of the equinoxes, was hopelessly inadequate to account for the Doomsday archetype.

Within months of the first formulation of the Polar Configuration, I encountered the work of de Santillana and von Dechend — Hamlet's Mill — a book that provides the first quotation given in "Alien Sky." The author's themselves were stunned to discover the planet Saturn's ancient link to the celestial pole, the very concept I was working with. But here, too, there is no possibility that the interpretation offered could explain the myths. The author's barely try, instead simply speculating about a hidden astronomical language of myth now too obscure to reconstruct. The possibility that a gas giant actually dominated the sky from a polar location, was too extreme to be entertained.

My request to you, Grey Cloud: Before continuing to insult others or cavalierly dismissing their work, simply defend the underlying claim that you've so broadly distributed on the Thunderbolts Forum.

David Talbott
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby David Talbott » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:31 pm

A further query for you, Grey Cloud, in the hope you might address it in starting a thread of your own.

In your post above, you write, "I do not dispute that archetypes exist." But as I recall, not long ago you wrote that, "There are no archetypes." Or has my memory failed me?

Also, you say above, "Archetypes fit into the Perennial Philosophy quite naturally without the need for ‘collective amnesia’, trauma or a re-arrangement of the solar system." I would challenge you to show how any archetype can be explained, in its earliest contexts, by reference to a metaphysical, ethical, or spiritual principles of any kind. I've asked the question a thousand times, and with sufficient investigation the answer is always no.

The one illogical step that is prohibited by the groundrules we've proposed is projecting later ideas backward 2000 years. To claim a more archaic origin of these later interpretations of myth requires evidence. Over some 38 years of looking I've concluded that the evidence does not exist. Nevertheless, I'm happy to respect some of the metaphysical, psychological, and spiritual teachings emerging in later times, as visionaries converted the myths into something more than they were originally.

But please, I'd be grateful if you would answer the question on your own thread. Otherwise, we could end up wasting too much of each other's time wrestling over incompatible views of myth, where differences in vantage point could only be reconciled through much more information than is even conceivable on a discussion list.

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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Plasmatic » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:20 am

:shock: Wow! Dave I'm delighted to see you've responded here.

I want to digress a moment to express something important. I want to say that I do join you in your commendment of Colleens courage in your Tblog. Its a testament to the value and relevance of your work that it has been an instrument of liberation from and insight into the origin of the oldest of humanity's floating abstractions/invalid concepts. :)

I'm going to respond to your comments in order of relevance to the thread, ending with a few points that I see as relevant, but not essential to the main reason I spoke up.

If I understand your question, you are asking on what basis I distinguish spiritual discernment from the roots of myth.


Not exactly. what I'm trying to point at is what I see as an inconsistency.One that threatens to place your foundation for reconstruction in the same category as Grey Clouds esoteric/inner origin of myth in general and the archetypes in particular. All in spite of what I see as your previous position to the contrary.

In short :

The overriding issue is the integrity between the model and archetypal structures as a whole.

http://thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/v ... type#p4251



Bear with me as I quote you extensively again :) :

The reconstruction begins with the archetypes, patterns of mythical expression occurring globally. To follow the archetypes to a reliable conclusion, you can start anywhere. Why? Because these patterns constitute the substructure of human memory, and they are all inseparably connected. There’s no such thing as an isolated archetype.I can assure you that there are more than a thousand such points of cross-cultural agreement. A few general instances would include: the ancient claim that the appearance of the sky changed dramatically in the past; memories of a lost age of “gods and wonders”; memories of a “perfect time” (Golden Age), the opening chapter in the age of the gods; the collapse of that epoch in a Doomsday catastrophe; a primeval sun presiding over that time--“when heaven was close to the earth.” And the building of a great citadel of the gods, the subject of the archaic “creation” myth.

As the investigation develops, the archetypes will grow increasingly specific and therefore more stringent in their demands upon the model. Random speculations about the origins of a particular local story have no place. The overriding issue is the integrity between the model and archetypal structures as a whole. Selective use of one or two archetypes is not permitted. No archetype can be excluded.


http://thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/v ... type#p4251




“UNIVERSAL THEMES OF MYTH By following the comparative approach, and by concentrating on the universal themes of myth, a researcher is enabled to focus on the substratum. Nothing will boost the researcher's confidence more than discovering that the roots of myth are not only identifiable, but coherent, each identifiable theme revealing an explicit connection to the same taproot, while revealing verifiable links to the other themes as well. To illustrate this point let us consider just a few human memories whose deep connections to each other are beyond dispute. Though each of the themes listed here will require extensive review and analysis, our immediate interest is in a possibility generally ignored in our time--the possibility of a fully integrated and consistent substructure. “


http://www.kronia.com/thoth/ThotIV04.txt


What an outrageous claim to make--to suggest that there are no domains of ancient myth that can be isolated from this singular story! But I am not just arguing by proclamation here. I am contending that the truth can be demonstrated by following certain rules. Call these the RULES FOR RE-ENVISIONING HUMAN HISTORY. Our first rule is: we will always work from the general motif to the specific. A second is: only broadly recurring themes count as evidence, particularly in the early stages of the reconstruction. And there is a third rule: Earlier-recorded versions of the recurring themes must be permitted to explain later variants. Okay, just one more rule: we must allow ancient drawings to illuminate the myths and rites, while permitting the myths and rites to illuminate the drawings. This last rule is crucial because, around the world, ancient skygazers drew remarkably similar pictures of things that do not exist in our sky. And the things depicted are the *subjects* of the myths and rites, though this vital truth has not been generally recognized, either by catastrophists or by mainstream scholars. “


http://www.kronia.com/thoth/thoth03.txt

“Of all the skills that the independent researcher might bring to this inquiry, none will prove more crucial than that of pattern recognition. There is structure to myth. Structure that has never been sufficiently acknowledged. Structure implies coherence, an integrity between the parts. Clearly human imagination must have gone wild to have produced the incredible vistas of the ancient mythscape. But structure is there too, and structure means that human imagination was not operating in a vacuum. What could have unleashed human imagination in this way, while yet inspiring a universal myth? Nothing less than the most awesome and traumatic experiences in human history, I would say.



Archetypes. Always, when I use the term (as in these pages under construction) I’m speaking of worldwide patterns of myth and symbol, illuminated by their first historic expressions. The reconstruction implies that these concrete themes arose from extraordinary natural events. Our ancestors did not live beneath the sky we observe today.

Whether certain of the archetypes persist in a “collective unconscious” is a worthy question to ask, but not our immediate concern. The immediate concern is to clarify the claims of the reconstruction by providing stylized images of things seen in the sky, then pointing readers to the archetypes they inspired, so that the model can be evaluated efficiently. Evaluation will then be possible by asking two questions:

1) Does any pattern of natural experience today predict an ancient archetype? (OR: If the archetypes reflect events that are still occurring today, see if you can name one. )

2. Does the reconstruction predict both the archetypes and their underlying relationships? (OR: name an archetype that would not be expected if the claimed events actually occurred.)


http://thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/v ... type#p3385


Mel Acheson listed a similar set of questions when proposing the possible explanations of the "universal themes":

A rational method (comparative mythology) applied to the totality of relevant data (all myths of all cultures, together with their art, architecture, rituals, and customs) has resulted in the identification of hundreds of themes occurring in common at a high level of specific detail. There are only three possible explanations:

1) A global event was experienced by all cultures and memorialized in the specific elements of each culture, which retained the detailed reproduction of the objective common event (i.e., one story told around the world).

2) All cultures originated in one primordial culture and the original elements of the one were superficially modified as it dispersed into the many, with some unspecified psychological fixation keeping the underlying themes unchanged at a level of minute detail (i.e., one story teller imitated around the world).

3) The human psyche, at some deep level where myths are generated, has a "hardwired" structure that allows only the existing themes, in their highly detailed form, to be expressed, but superficial modifications can occur (i.e., one story telling emerging uniformly around the world). “


http://www.kronia.com/thoth/thothV04.txt


Now it seems to me that you have already stated your position on the 2 questions you proposed in the last quote of yours above,as well as in answer to Mel's proposed causes :

Most significant are those points of
agreement on details so SPECIFIC that the agreement could not be
the result of accident or any suspected general tendencies of the
human mind


In fact if any "universal theme" in religion could arise from:

a less coercive, less noisy, less disturbed heart of knowing within every human being?”


Then your answer to 1). is: "Yes, the heart of knowing in every human being" and your answer to the second part of 2). would be : "all the spiritual principles in the ONENESS book."


So what I'm submitting to you is "You cant have your cake and eat it too".

Either the patterns are 'universal','unified','fully integrated' and connected to 'the same taproot', having a 'fully integrated and consistent substructure', or there is another explanation/source for globally recurring themes,in which case there is not a single root/origin and Grey Cloud is justified in asserting that they could be of 'mystic and intuitional development '.

I confront this precisely because I think this will :

discourage people from following a logical argument whose ground floor is not subjective at all, but constituted entirely of objective facts—the well-documented mythic archetypes.


Facts that show that, in Ev's words:

there are clear signs that planets will soon be receiving their just due
as objective referents of ancient myth


http://www.kronia.com/library/journals/velmyth.txt


Now, I realize that you stated that :

Nothing that is free from myth can be called a reification of myth just because a trail can be followed backward to the myth-making epoch.


But my secondary point in responding is to contend that one is not "free" from myth to the extent that the referents of the concepts one employs are not explicitly induced from personal experiences, as opposed to deduced from principles that originated in the mythical epoch and have no referents in ones perception. To the extent that ones concepts are not explicitly connected to ones experience they are floating abstractions.

Or as you stated to Joe :

The impact on religious beliefs will depend entirely on the extent to which one’s religious beliefs have been conditioned unwittingly by mythological themes and related misunderstandings that worked their way down through history.


Except, I contend there are no principles or beliefs that "stand on their own",...."emerging directly from, and finding their confirmation in, life experience, a present moment", that can be called religious.

Religion is precisely "the explosive outpouring of human imagination in response to the most awe-inspiring and terrifying events in human history."

As with the example of Aristotle's unmoved mover, man has reinterpreted invalid concepts received from antiquity and deduced forward more invalid conclusions. I hardly call this leaving the myths behind.If Aristotle would have not simply accepted the idea of an "origin" of the universe or creation, then he wouldn't have deduced that motion [or the things moving] needed an origin.

As for your other examples,one cannot induce "perfect rest", from experience.There is no such thing.I contend that without the idea of the mythical motionless sun, one would never come to use that concept to describe consciousness inductively.

Now on to the least discussable [as in fruitful to the thread topic] part of our disagreement in this thread.

Please keep in mind James, that nothing I’ve expressed here has anything to do with “altruism” as you defined it. You’ve defined altruism as a call to sacrifice, and you’re not alone in that. This common interpretation of altruism is the primary reason I never use the word. It’s quite a realization to discover that spiritual teachings, when freed entirely from myth, almost never urge sacrifice on anyone. In contrast, the first civilizations, arising in the shadow of cosmic catastrophe, found a thousand ways to incorporate sacrifice into their ritual and magical negotiations with the gods.


I submit to you that it is impossible to "give without thought of reward" and "love ones enemies",and "judge not",without sacrificing ones interest to others or destroying ones self worth and concepts of value and desert.

Love is the recognition of ones highest values in another.One cannot value oneself and those who do not value them!
An unconditioned love is a remnant of the undifferentiated, edenic mythical themes IMO.

If as V thought, man has responded to catastrophe by tending to "identify with the aggressor", I say they have also made themselves the victim through practicing the ideas of selflessness found in the rest of the reinterpreted religious principles deduced from the floating abstraction recieved down from the myth making epoch.

I realize on these last points we will probably agree to disagree. :)

So I actually do agree that:

To see myth as myth is to liberate oneself from the inertia of irrational, age-old beliefs that far outlasted any conscious memories of the celestial provocation itself.

What will remain, then, are the universal principles that require no myths for their validity, leaving sufficient internal space for human discernment and for deeper reconciliation


However when one does there will be no content qualifying as "religious" remaining. Of course this rest on my idea of what is rational !
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification"......" I am therefore Ill think"
Ayn Rand
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Aristotle
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Re: "Alien Sky" - Questioning the Myths in our Religions

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:01 am

Hi David Talbott,

I will retire from this thread as you wish but could you please explain what you mean by ‘earliest contexts’ in this sentence:
“I would challenge you to show how any archetype can be explained, in its earliest contexts, by reference to a metaphysical, ethical, or spiritual principles of any kind”.

It’s not a trick question, I’m just puzzled as to how one ascertains the earliest context. Obviously, Greek is earlier than Roman but how, for instance, does one ascertain the earliest tale of Hercules?
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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