Thursday, December 17, 2009

Black Peter

Can the Devil be a bringer of good luck? Yes, indeed, according to old European traditions. The ancient devil -- known variously as Old Nick, Old Scratch, Old Split-Foot, and Der Teufel -- did not begin his career as the "Satan" of Christianity. The old Devil is a Teutonic woods-spirit, an ogre-like trickster who is often friendly to wood-cutters and footloose soldiers. In Germanic folk-tales like those collected by the Grimm brothers, he is usually described as living out in the woods, among the nature spirits.

In the area of Central and Eastern Europe comprising Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, the Devil was never fully absorbed into the Christian mythos as Satan but remained as he had always been, a slender, horned, bearded, fur-covered half-man of the woods. Under the regional names Krampus, Schwarze Peter (Black Peter), and Knecht Ruprecht (Ruprecht the Servant), he accompanies Saint Nicholas on his rounds of gift-giving, originally on December 6th, but eventually on Christmas Day, December 25th.

Before elves and eight tiny reindeer, Santa had to contend with this much more menacing assistant, Black Peter (Zwarte Piet in Dutch). According to myths dating to the beginning of the 19th century, Saint Nicholas operated in the companionship of this indentured devil. Having triumphed over evil, it was said that on Saint Nicholas Eve, Black Peter was shackled and made to do St. Nick’s bidding. Traditionally St. Nicholas would hand out presents to good children, while it fell to Black Peter to dole out lumps of coal to children who misbehaved.

Black Peter's job was to remove the hay and carrots from the shoes that had been left by children underneath their chimneys, and to drop candy and gifts in their place. If the children had been bad, Peter wouldn't remove the hay and would leave a lump of coal in place of a gift. In parts of central Europe like Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, the character of Black Peter was a more like a monster, with horns, long hair, and a red tongue. He was known by a variety of names: Klaubauf, Krampus, Grampus, Bartel.

The American version of St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus (AKA: Father Christmas, Old Saint Nick, etc.) originally came from the Dutch version called Sinterklaas. The Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) brought this fun and lively tradition (some even say cult) to America. Actually the old "cult" of Santa Claus incorporates many traditions: Christian and Pagan, Old Catholic, Scandinavian, Dutch, German and English. The relics of Saint Nicholas are in the basilica of St. Nicola, in Bari, Italy (they were stolen from Myra in 1087 AD). For this reason he is sometimes known as Saint Nicholas of Bari.

Nowadays there is still not one universal image of Black Peter, but he has lost his large stick and is usually dressed in a Renaissance page style costume with short pants, stockings, and a cap with a large feather. Today, much of the negative associations have left Black Peter and he has become more of an elf-like figure, an assistant to an overloaded St. Nicholas who helps to hand out gifts every December 5th, St. Nicholas Day in Holland. But lurking beneath the thin veneer of modern tradition is Black Peter… Old Split Foot… an ancient will-o-the woods… dancing nude around the Yule-tide fire… amongst the nature spirits… carrying on the old ways… reveling in the pre-Christian, pagan rituals… chanting… Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good night!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Heretical Excerpts from the Tek-Gnostics Vault

In several Gnostic Gospels... written by Christians whose alternative views of Jesus were eventually suppressed as heresy... Mary Magdalene rivals Peter for the leadership of the early church because of her superior understanding of Jesus' teaching. The Gospel of Philip, for example, describes her as Jesus' close companion whose counsel he often sought. In an era when women were commonly identified in relation to a husband, father or brother, Mary was identified instead by her town of origin. This title was traditionally bestowed to individuals of significance. Scholars believe she was one of a number of women who provided monetary support for Jesus' ministry. Additionally, when the male disciples fled, Mary steadfastly witnessed Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection, providing the thread of continuity in the central story of Christian history.

Early non-canonical Christian writings show faith communities growing up around Mary's ministry, where she is portrayed as understanding Jesus' message better than did Peter and the male disciples. Scholars surmise that these writings are not about the historical persons Mary and Peter but instead reflect tensions over women's roles in the early church. Prominent leaders such as Mary and Peter were evoked to justify opposing points of view. What is not disputed is the recognition of Mary of Magdala as an important woman leader in earliest Christianity.

In 312, when Constantine made Christianity the religion of the empire, the Christian community was caught in a cultural conflict as it moved from worship in house churches where women's leadership was accepted, to worship in public places where women's leadership violated Roman social norms. In the fourth century, male church leaders at the Council of Laodicea suppressed women leaders because of the belief that women should be subordinate to men. During this same time period, we see the memory of Mary of Magdala changing from that of a strong female disciple and proclaimer of the Resurrection to a repentant prostitute and public sinner. Scholars such as Dr. Jane Schaberg believe this was done deliberately to discourage female leadership in the church.

It is clear that Mary of Magdala not only bankrolled Jesus' ministry, but was a trusted, respected and most beloved Apostle. In the days and weeks that followed Jesus' crucifixion, Mary acted as a stabilizing force among the disciples... witnessed the resurrection and laid the groundwork for early Christianity... hence the title "Apostle to the Apostles". It is also clear that Mary's teachings suffered the same fate as many of the Gnostic Gospels that favored individual gnosis over subservience to a dogmatic hierarchal church.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Worldwide Frequency Shift in Blue Whale's Song... Early Indicator of Paradigm Shift?

The function of whale song has long baffled marine scientists. Songs of the blue whale, the planets largest living creature, can be divided into at least 10 types worldwide, each type retaining the same units and similar phrasing over decades, unlike humpback whale song which changes substantially from year to year. That is until recently with a worldwide occurrence of a nearly linear downward shift in the tonal frequencies of blue whale song.

“We don’t have the answer. We just have a lot of recordings,” said Whale Acoustics President Mark McDonald. “It’s a fascinating finding. It’s even more remarkable, given that the songs themselves differ in different oceans. There seem to be these distinct populations, yet they’re all showing this common shift,” Cascadia Research Collective blue-whale expert John Calombokidis adds.

Historical acoustic recordings dating back as far as the 1960s were examined, measuring the tonal frequencies of 1000s of blue whale songs. Within a given year, individuals match the song frequency (related to ‘pitch’ in musical nomenclature) to within less than 3%. The best documented song type, that observed offshore of California, USA, now is sung at a frequency 31% lower than it was in the 1960s. Data available for 7 of the world’s 10 known song types show they are all shifting downward in frequency, though at different rates.

Limited observations of singing blue whales suggest usage patterns different from those of humpback whale song and are even more difficult to explain. All singers for which sex has been determined have been males, although both sexes produce non-song calls. Singers have always been found to be traveling at relatively high speed, whereas non-song calls are commonly produced by milling or feeding blue whales.

Theories as to why this is a occurring include sexual selection, increasing ocean noise, increasing whale body size post whaling, global warming, interference from other animal sounds and post-whaling era increases in abundance. None of the commonly suggested hypotheses were found to provide a full explanation; however, increasing population size post whaling provides an intriguing and testable hypothesis that recovery is altering the sexually selected tradeoff for singing males between song amplitude (the ability to be heard at a greater distance) and song frequency (the ability to produce songs of lower pitch).

Hal Whitehead, a Dalhousie University biologist who specializes in cetacean communication, emphasized that whale song is a cultural affair. Whales are known to learn from each other, and whales have extraordinarily large and complex brains. They appear to share many social and cognitive traits with people.

“The exciting possibility, I think, is that they’re all listening to each other,” said Whitehead. “This is a worldwide cultural phenomenon, and that’s very cool.”

Monday, November 30, 2009

In Search of the Illuminated Ones - part 1

There is a Road… no simple Highway
Between the Dawn… and the dark of night
And if you go… no one may follow
That path is for… your steps alone

- R Hunter

The path of illumination is ultimately a bargain between Universe and Individual. This can be a lonely journey where the terrain is not always familiar. At times, the desire to pull over and ask directions is irresistible. Also consider the fact that earthling humans are social critters and as such, love company. These two factors combine to not only create the need to communicate esoteric notions with like-minded individuals but to seek out those who can be of assistance in the quest for illumination.

The following is a unique (if not quirky) article on various historic artifacts and locations that have been associated with the “westernized” version of the quest for illumination. Although much of what follows was in vogue in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, many of these concepts have “come back around” and have once more become fashionable within certain cosmic communities. They have even found their way into the popular media (Indiana Jones, Angles & Demons, etc.) and thus into public consciousness. Consider what follows to be of historic value in identifying the evolutionary nature of humanity’s understanding of the artifacts in question…

Chintamani Stone… the original Holy Grail
With the current massive outpouring of information regarding the fabled Holy Grail it is impossible to ignore what may be the very first Holy Grail on Earth, the Chintamani Stone… the “Treasure of the World.” Between 1923-1928 this stone, (which first manifested on Earth many thousands of years before the Cup of Christ) was taken by the great Russian artist and mystic Nicholas Roerich into the heartland of the Far East in order to reunite it with the mother stone it had been separated from, a massive jewel that resided in Shambhala, the Land of the Immortals. This Chintamani Stone, which is (allegedly) of extra-terrestrial origin, had supposedly been brought to Earth by emissaries from a planet orbiting the “dog star” Sirius. The Sirians handed the stone over to Shambhala’s principal resident, the elusive “King of the World,” a monarch known by many mystics in the East but only by a handful of occultists in the West.

In regards to it’s identity in the Holy Grail legends, the Chintamani Stone appears to be synonymous with the “Stone of Heaven,” the Holy Grail manifestation mentioned by Wolfram von Eschenbach in his famous Grail rendition known as Parzival. Eschenbach‘s Parzival is regarded by most Grail scholars to be the most complete and authoritative of the Grail legends. The Chintamani Stone certainly fits the profile of Eschenbach’s enigmatic Stone of Heaven because, like it’s literary counterpart, the Treasure of the World is said to possess both the power to make a human immortal, as well as to have come to Earth from “Heaven” (Sirius), a truth that is supposedly engraved upon it as Sanskrit letters that Roerich once translated as “Through the Stars I come. I bring the chalice (Grail) covered with the shield.”

Like Eschenbach’s stone, the Chintamani Stone is apparently also green in color, since Roerich is on record as also stating that the Chintamani Stone is similar in appearance to a species of meteorite known as Moldavite, which is dark green in color. If the Chintamani Stone is indeed Eschenbach’s Stone of Heaven, could it also be the original Philosophers Stone, which legends assert could turn a base metal into gold and a human into an immortal deity? Could it be the original Holy Grail, the one that was later emulated by all Holy Grails, including the Cup of Christ and the wood of the True Cross? With so much evidence in support of its power and existence, it does indeed appear that the study of the Chintamani Stone should warrant special consideration in any contemporary Holy Grail research.

The Nature and Purpose of the Chintamani Stone
Information is scant concerning the Chintamani Stone, but supposedly the extra-terrestrial stone is stronger than penetrating Radium and its dynamic rays can instantly increase a person’s own vibratory frequency while bestowing upon him or her, the ability to see into the past and future and evolve into an immortal human being. It has also been suggested that the stone can never be adequately tested scientifically because much of it exists in a higher dimensional frequency than the one we exist within.

Other pertinent data regarding the Chintamani Stone maintains that it was brought to Earth by Sirian missionaries during a remote era in order to eventually help precipitate a one-world civilization based upon mutual support, love, and equality. In order to effectuate this lofty goal, the Sirians are believed to have, throughout history, made sure that the stone remained in the possession of certain planetary rulers or organizations that have been in the position of influencing the world on a grand scale.

Since its arrival on Earth, the Chintamani Stone has, for example, been in the possession of he who is the supreme consciousness governing all of the world from an etheric plane, the King of the World, while parts of it have been in the possession of such acclaimed conquerors and empire builders as King Solomon, Genghis Khan and Akbar the Great. There is some indication that one part of the stone has been the sacred stone of the Kaaba, which has united millions of Moslems around the globe. In recent history it is known that a portion of the Chintamani Stone was given to the founders of the League of Nations, whose stated goals were the creation of a one-world civilization free of hate and war. This was the stone that Nicholas Roerich carried back to Shambhala following the collapse of that international organization.

One burning question remains in regards to the current whereabouts of the Chintamani Stone. Did Roerich complete his journey to Shambhala? Is the sacred stone back in the Land of the Immortals? Most historians agree that Roerich did not technically reach Shambhala but instead arrived in a Tibetan location which is intimately connected to it. One such location is Shigatse, home of the Tashilumpo Monastery and headquarters of the Panchen Lama, one of the ruling lamas of Tibet who is sometimes referred to as higher in the planetary spiritual hierarchy than even the Dalai Lama himself.

Legends state that there are many underground tunnels connecting the Tashilumpo Monastery with Shambhala, and it is an accepted truth that certain incumbent Panchen Lamas have physically traveled there over the course of many hundreds of years. The Third Panchen Lama even wrote a book, called Road to Shambhala, within which he outlined directions on how to travel overland to Shambhala. Another salient connection that forever links the Panchen Lama, Shigatze and Shambhala is the Kalachakra Tantra, an intensive form of Tantric Buddhism taught and practiced in both places.

During the time that Roerich would have visited Shigatse, the holy Tibetan city was a world headquarters of the Great White Brotherhood and swarming with Ascended Masters, such as Master Koothumi and Master Morya, an adept who taught Nicholas and his wife, Helena, the path of Agni Yoga… an alchemical path based upon the teachings of the Kalachakra. Previous to Roerich’s visit in Tibet, Madam Blavatsky had similarly made an excursion to Shigatse to study with the Great White Brotherhood and to acquire information for her tomes on esoteric history, which include Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. One of Blavatsky’s students, Alice Bailey, is noted for having later received numerous transmissions regarding Shambhala and the King of the World from the Master Djwhal Khul, who was a resident of Shigatse at the time.

From Sirius?
Could the Chintamani Stone have really come from Sirius? Did humans have contact with the Sirians in the distant past? Perhaps. In the last century anthropologists in Mali discovered that some of the African country’s tribes, such as the Dogon and Bozo tribes, claimed to have once had visitations from Sirian missionaries who acted as their teachers. To prove their claims these tribes revealed some of the obscure information transmitted to them from their mentors, which included a knowledge of the Sirian grouping of three stars, as well as a knowledge of the moons surrounding certain distant planets in our Solar System. Such information could only be acquired through observation with very high-powered telescopes, a luxury these primitive tribes were never in the position to possess.

Robert Temple, author of The Sirius Mystery, which records the history of the Dogon people and their encounters with the Sirians, found another possible Earth link with Sirius soon after his book was published. Members of Freemasonry, who had long known of Sirius as the Great White Lodge in the Galaxy and commonly depicted it in their lodges as the Blazing Star, contacted Temple and invited him to become an initiate of their organization. Although Temple could not subsequently find explicit indications that Freemasonry had been in direct contact with Sirian missionaries in the past, he did find intriguing clues connecting them to the star Sirius, including the eye within the triangle symbol which currently surmounts the pyramid on the US seal. This triangle, an ancient Freemasonic symbol, depicts the Grand Architect of the Universe and is closely associated with what the Dogon refer to as the “Eye” of the universe, the dwarf star Digitaria, that is part of the trinitized Sirian grouping of stars and recognized by the tribe as the Creator of the Universe.

The US seal eventually became featured on the back of the US dollar bill during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, who was himself a high-ranking Freemason and Shriner, and before that it was the symbol of the eighteenth century Illuminati, who sought to achieve the Sirian goal of a one-world civilization although it is believed they did so with less than purely altruistic intentions. Temple also discovered another clue indicating a close connection between the Freemasons and Sirius: the day of US independence by the Freemasonic fathers, July 4th, is one of the days of the year when our Sun is in its closest alignment with Sirius.

The Return of the Chintamani Stone
When Nicholas Roerich was touring Tibet and Mongolia he constantly heard cries among the Buddhist monks of “It is the time of Shambhala!” According to the monks the King of the World would soon sweep down from Shambhala with a huge army to destroy all evil upon the Earth before declaring himself our planet’s eternal ruler. Supporting his inevitable rule was destined to be the Chintamani Stone, which currently resides in the King’s Tower in the very center of Shambhala.

Roerich and his mentors within the Great White Brotherhood and the Theosophical Society founded by Madam Blavatsky maintain that the army of the King of the World is, in truth, a power emanating from Shambhala that continually raises the frequency of our planet. It was, for example, this power that fueled WWII and, ultimately, led to the fall of the Third Reich, even after the Nazis attempted to harness it for their own self-serving purposes. Eventually this transformative power will destroy all energetic blockages that exist at a lower frequency than itself (i.e., negativity, greed, control, etc.) while simultaneously accelerating the evolution of all life forms on Earth. Once it has completed its pre-destined goal, state the Theosophists, a planetary civilization based upon love and equality will finally emerge. Perhaps then the King of the World and his Chintamani Stone will make their presence known universally to all.

Mark Amaru Pinkham is the author of Guardians of the Holy Grail: The Knights
Templar, John the Baptist and the Water of Life which cover the history of many Holy Grail manifestations, including the Chintamani Stone. Mark is co-director of the International Order of Gnostic Templars in Sedona ( and leads tours to many sacred places around the world associated with the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail Mysteries.

Stay tuned for further installments in our “In Search of the Illuminated Ones” series. Additional information and resources are available at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tek-Gnostics Web Presence Update

Sensei has been busy over at the Tek-Gnostic Monastery updating multiple locations.

Of particular interest is the expanded intelligence concerning the Bene Gesserit and those rascally conspirators, the Illuminati.

The Pop Future page has been reconceived, updated and the information expanded.

Also of note…

Sci Fi as Sacred Text
The Specter of Jihad

There have been other tweaks here and there. In order to really appreciate the updates, you need to explore the site…


- JH

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Giant Buddha of Leshan

The Giant Buddha of Leshan is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, carved out of a cliff face by an 8th-century monk in southern Szechuan province. The Giant Buddha overlooks the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers and faces the sacred Mount Emei (with which it shares its World Heritage status).

According to a local saying: "The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain."

Known as Dafo, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya Buddha with his hands resting on his knees, gazing across the river with heavy-lidded eyes. Maitreya is the future Buddha, who will appear to preach the dharma when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have faded away. He was especially popular during the 4th to 7th centuries and his images can be found throughout the Buddhist world, conveying his characteristic air of expectancy and promise.

Construction on the Giant Buddha began in 713 AD. It was the idea of a Chinese monk named Haitong, who hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent forces that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. It was said there was a river monster that lived at this spot. He often caused floods that capsized passing boats and took cost many lives. In order to subdue the waters and save lives, Master Haitong, a Buddhist abbot of the Lingyun Monastery, raised the necessary funds and commenced the construction of the Giant Buddha.

He hoped that the presence of the Great Buddha would subdue the monster and so pacify the swift currents thereby protecting the boatmen who traversed the treacherous river. His plans were not just supernatural - the enormous amount of rubble carved away from the cliff would be deposited in the river, altering the currents and calming the waters. The construction project was continued by his disciples and finally completed by the local governor in 803.

On December 6th, 1996, Leshan Giant Buddha was approved by the UNESCO as the Heritage of World Culture and Nature and was officially inscribed on the World Heritage List. The comment of the Committee of World Heritage was as follows: "During the first century A. D., Mount Emei in Sichuan province became one of Buddhism's holiest sites. Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. The most remarkable is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century. At 71 m high, it is the largest Buddha in the world."

Giant Buddha Temple

As high as the mountain is the statue pavilion, Whose hand placed the steps leading forward? Day and night the fog is rising and setting, And the dews on the mountain are teasing. Clear is the moon waiting to be touched, While faint is the sun where doves go to inhabit. Also drafted to the boundless frontier, The bonfire implied the suffering of the common people.

-Xue Neng

At the right back of the giant Buddha's head stands the Lingyun Temple, from which the details on the giant Buddha's head can be observed. Called Baoen Temple in ancient times, the Lingyun Temple is also referred to as Giant Buddha Temple. The construction of the Lingyun Temple began in the Tianbao Period of the Tang Dynasty, well before that of the Giant Buddha. The original temple was destroyed, and the present one was rebuilt in the early years of the Qing Dynasty.

In addition to the Leshan Giant Buddha, there are numerous famous sites located in the scenic spot in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located including: Mt. Lingyun, Wuyou Hill, Guicheng Hill, Moruo Hall, Qianfeng Cave, and the sleeping Giant Buddha. There are many Han Dynasty cliff tombs, where many mortuary artifacts have been found making this area particularily important for archaeologists.

Friday, November 6, 2009

2012 – What, me Worry?

The Mayan long count calendar’s 13th Baktun is winding down. A Baktun is the 394 year cycle that the ancient Mayas used to mark time. The 13th Baktun (the number 13 itself being a sacred number to the ancient Mayas) completes its cycle on December 21st, 2012. The completion of this cycle has popularly (at least in certain circles) come to be associated with the end of the world, judgment day, the biblical apocalypse, what have you. The Mayan calendar prophesies the end of our own "Age of the Jaguar", the fifth and final "sun" in 2012 AD. This, according to Maurice Cotterell's sun-spot theories, will be brought about by a sudden reversal in the earth's magnetic field.

I am not sure what a reversal in the earth's magnetic field would entail, but it doesn’t sound good. Regardless of the method, a lot of energy has gone into associating the winter solstice, 2012 with some cataclysmic event. This same event is described in many “mythological” or spiritual teachings of the past period under different names. In Egypt it’s the time of Zep Tepi or return to the original point of creation that’s repeated cyclically in order to transform the old into new. In Sumer and Babylonia, the same event is referred to as “times of crossing” associated with passing of 11th planet (Niburu), which is also depicted in Egyptian “mythology” and elsewhere.

Not to be outdone, the contemporary western media machine has also been busy promoting the eschatological event. The upcoming blockbuster movie titled 2012, directed by Roland Emmerich, certainly fans the apocalyptic flames. This November 13th (Friday the 13th, to be exact), the apocalypse will be previewed by western audiences in glorious Technicolor.

Re-enforced by popular media, spurred on by recent economic crisis, the collective consciousness of humanity seems to resonate with the notion of the end of the world.

Not to worry…

I can personally guarantee, with 100% certainty that our civilization will not come to an end on December 21st, 2012. How can I be so sure you ask? Simple… The divine architect, the Demiurge, universal creator, whatever title works for you, has too twisted of a sense of humor to let me off that easy. Like many of you reading this blog, I too racked up debt over the last decade or two. And like many of you, I have a mortgage to pay off. My Demiurge would never allow me to shirk my responsibilities so easily. Especially with so flimsy of an excuse as some apocalyptic end-times scenario.

Besides… it just doesn’t feel intuitively right that Mother Earth, or for that matter humanity should have an expiration date. I don’t think universe works that way. If indeed we are approaching the end of a cosmic cycle, then it follows that we are also approaching the beginning of a new cycle. Given the track record of the last cycle, I for one, am looking forward to new beginnings.

We can facilitate our new cycle by being vehicles of light in all our interaction with universe. We can shine and share our light with an open and loving heart, living up to our own expectation of the best that we can be.

Every time that wheel turns ‘round… bound to cover just a little more ground!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night is an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November. It marks the downfall of the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605, in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, in London, United Kingdom.

It is primarily marked in the United Kingdom where it was compulsory, by fiat, until 1859, to celebrate the deliverance of the King of Great Britain; but, it is also celebrated in former British colonies including New Zealand, Newfoundland, and parts of the British Caribbean. Bonfire Night was celebrated in Australia until the mid- to late 1970s, when sale and public use of fireworks was made illegal and the celebration was effectively abolished. It is also celebrated in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. Festivities are centred on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

This day was celebrated in the Colonies and was called "Pope's Day". It was the high point of 'anti-popery' (in the term of the times) in New England. In the 1730s or earlier Boston's artisans commemorated the day with a parade and performances which mocked Catholicism and the Catholic Stuart pretender. It was also the day when the youth and the lower class ruled. They went door to door collecting money from the affluent to finance feasting and drinking. George Washington forbade the celebration of the day among his troops due to its anti-Catholic and pro-British purpose.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Specter of Jihad

“An army helicopter swooped low over us, tossing aside a women’s headscarves and whipping up lines of washing. Six policemen darted into the corner building and worked their way up through the flats. They emerged on the roof and advanced along it, guns drawn, receding down the block until they looked like ants on a tabletop. The explosion came not from the roof, but the avenue, a few yards from the chief of police and fifty feet from me. There was the same metallic bang, a blue flash, a billow of smoke and screams”.

- John Thorne

Calling all Cybernauts…

The world we live in today seems a little darker and a little scarier than it did yesterday. Seemingly over night our planet's socio-economic landscape has been re-arranged into a nightmarish mix of archaic tribalism and multi-nationalism. A "Jihad" or holy war has been declared against capitalism in general and the U.S. in particular. A “Crusade” of western interests has descended upon the Islamic world, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan. Terrorists… Crusaders… Fanatics… Infidels…

Terrorism and covert operations have replaced diplomacy as a political first option. Even as "terrorist cells" get their footing around the world, traditional global economic mechanisms are breaking apart. We now find ourselves living in a post spy-vs-spy world. A murky, slightly sinister haze obscures a clear view of our near future, making prediction difficult and more than a little fuzzy. Our traditional sources will be helpful, but perhaps are not as accurate as they once were. Just because Fox News, or for that matter MSNBC says it's so doesn't make it really so.

The question of sensational reporting for the sake of television ratings aside… once the practice of “embedding” network news correspondents into military units became a common occurrence… their impartiality has come into question. It is not necessarily a question of conscious biasness on their part. It is more a question of objectivity. It is completely understandable that a war correspondent would become close to the military outfit they were assigned to and begin to identify with said unit. At that point, it would be impossible to report events as they occurred without prejudice.

When the Scottish government released convicted Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi from prison, highly charged emotions attached to the tragedy of Pan Am flight 103 resurfaced dramatically in the hearts and minds of the “western world”. The speculation of Iranian nuclear proliferation, real or imagined, has many governments, both eastern and western, eyeing the middle-east with jittery anticipation. The prolonged and continued occupation of Baghdad, ancient capitol of the land said to be the cradle of civilization, can only be considered an invasion of infidel crusaders by its population.

The beliefs expressed in the above paragraph are also examples of prejudice… understandable… but prejudice none the less. In times of war, the ability to access unbiased data is critical in formulating valid understanding of any given situation. It has never been so vital that our information stream flow unimpeded.

So where does that leave us in these “world infotainment wars”? Where can we obtain accurate, unbiased intelligence on global events? What sources can we rely on to provide us with the truthful, compassionate information we so desperately need in this holy-jihad-crusade world we find ourselves living in?

Having spent years exploring and participating in this vast working model of global consciousness commonly known as the internet, the staff at Tek-Gnostics has great respect and faith in all of you intrepid cybernauts on the other end of this network. Please leave your thoughts, hyperlinks and/or resource suggestions on the comments section of this blog post. Your insights will be very appreciated by the Tek-Gnostics staff… and will be incredibly useful to our community.

Blessed be thy input…

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Approaching Singularity: The Matrix Meets the Eschaton

Originally conceived and presented by Vernor Vinge
Part 1 - The Concept Defined

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater than human intelligence. There are several means by which science may achieve this:

1) The development of computers that are "awake" and superhumanly intelligent. (To date, most controversy in the area of AI relates to whether we can create human equivalence in a machine. But if the answer is "yes, we can", then there is little doubt that beings more intelligent can be constructed shortly thereafter.

2) Large computer networks and their associated users (internet) may "wake up" as a superhumanly intelligent entity.

3) Computer/human interfaces may become so intimate that users may reasonably be considered superhumanly intelligent.

These possibilities depend in large part on improvements in computer hardware. Progress in computer hardware has followed an amazingly steady curve in the last few decades. Based largely on this trend, it is believed that the creation of greater than human intelligence will occur during the next thirty years. What are the consequences of this event? When greater-than-human intelligence drives progress, that progress will be much more rapid. In fact, there seems no reason why progress itself would not involve the creation of still more intelligent entities… on a still-shorter time scale.

This event has been labeled the singularity. The singularity is a point where our old models of reality must be discarded as a new paradigm replaces them. From the human point of view this change will be a throwing away of all the previous rules, perhaps in the blink of an eye… an exponential technological and philosophical runaway.

Perhaps it was the science-fiction writers who felt the first concrete impact. After all, the "hard" science-fiction writers are the ones who try to write specific stories about technology outpacing humanity. As the concept of super-human intelligence looms closer, the dilemma felt by science fiction writers will soon be perceived in other fields. We will see automation replacing higher and higher level jobs.

And what of the arrival of the Singularity itself? What can be said of its actual appearance? Since it involves an intellectual runaway, it will probably occur faster than any technical revolution seen so far. The precipitating event will likely be unexpected, perhaps even to the scientists and researchers involved. If networking is widespread enough into ubiquitous embedded systems, it may seem as if our artifacts as a whole had suddenly wakened. And what happens a month or two (or a day or two) after that? We will be in the Post-Human era…

The preceding ideas are a “cut and paste” (literally and figuratively) composition from the complete and original material that is… available here.

It represents the most important question of our time. Our undying gratitude goes to Vernor Vinge for encapsulating and presenting this vital information to humanity.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fertility Festival at Canton Po – Ivory Coast

"All great things must wear terrifying and monstrous masks in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity."

- Friedrich Nietzsche

African Harvest and Fertility festival

The African masks that inspired painters like Picasso in the early twentieth century were only a small part of a larger cultural context and spectacle. The festivals of Canton Bo, located in the dense forest region of Southwest Ivory Coast, centered on the spirit forms of ancient ancestors who appeared in post-harvest festivals wearing carved masks and full-body coverings of straw, animal hide, textiles, and paint. Until the 2002 Ivory Coast civil strife, the Bo people invited the spirits each year to protect their village against unknown threats and to stimulate fertility for both women and crops.

During the festival, masked dancer’s bodies host (are possessed by) the spirits of entities such as Gu, wife of Zambie, a supernatural being. According to the tradition of Ivory Coast's Guro people, the horns symbolize Gu's legendary elegance, serenity and beauty. They also symbolize her spiritual powers and they can hold magic potions or medicines to protect human lives. With such protection and fertility, the whole community would prosper.

Through rare drawings and photographs, along with masks from the Peabody Museum collections, the Masked Festivals exhibit explores the different kinds of masked spirits and their performances.

On exhibit at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University… through April, 2010. Founded in 1866, the Peabody Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world devoted to anthropology and houses one of the most comprehensive records of human cultural history in the Western Hemisphere.

More Information here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Science Fiction as Sacred Text

Genre of the Sacred

To most of us, science fiction is a sub-genre of fiction. The specific scientific scenarios of a given Sci Fi tale are usually possible within scientifically-established protocol, though some elements may be imaginative and/or philosophic speculation. Science fiction has always provided humans with a glimpse of what might be. It is a contemporary “cautionary tale” that serves to warn humans about traveling the reckless road. Science fiction is at its best when it speculates on alternate possibilities that are contrary yet plausible to known reality.

Science Fiction is an exercise in the consideration of the imaginative potential in a given story’s premise. It modernizes and rationalizes the “tales of wonder” of old. Sci Fi returns the epic story to the realm of possibility in the minds of its audience. It is a contemporary retelling of the great mythic tales of humanity’s ancient past. The hero’s journey… the quest for the Holy Grail… chance meetings with the fairy folk… contact with the gods. The Science Fiction format revives a sense of relevance to this most important oral tradition.

In the telling of this modernized mythology, the hero traverses the heavens, not on the back of a winged horse, but in a starship. Demons of old become acid drooling alien creatures. The fairy folk become benevolent almond-eyed visitors from another star system. Camelot becomes “The Federation”. Never-Never land is accessed via a “wormhole” or “star-gate”. The very gods become ancient astronauts.

The medium through which our modernized myth is conveyed is a crucial component of the story’s telling. Traditionally, Sci Fi has been enjoyed and contemplated in text format. Reading a thought-provoking Sci Fi book is a wonderfully intimate experience that allows for meticulous philosophical contemplation. Certain tales that border on the fantastic are well suited for other types of media. Although acid drooling aliens may not seem believable upon calm reflection… safe and sound in one’s own living room… the suspension of belief is complete while at the cinema plex… bombarded by Dolby surround-sound and viewed in ultra-mega 3D. Media aside, the context of events placed in a technological near future are more compelling for a contemporary audience.

The magnitude of the Sci Fi tale tends to accommodate large, far reaching consequences if a given scenario is played out to its logical, if not inevitable conclusion. The scope of the dilemma often is global (if not galactic) and usually deals with catastrophic, civilization ending events. Popular forms include giant asteroids careening toward earth… exceptionally virulent strains of alien virus brought back inadvertently on a returning spacecraft, decimating earth’s population… and various forms of weird science, run amok. More often than not, these catastrophic consequences are a result of unwise choices made by humans or humanity.

Of all the Sci Fi scenarios that thrill, instruct and forewarn us, the most compelling, most self-evaluating one is that of “contact”. Close encounters with the “Other” has always captivated the imagination of humanity. Great earthling philosophers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Jean-Paul Sartre have postulated that a person's cognition or definition of the 'Other' is paramont in defining one’s sense of self. When the “Other” is from a different star system, the philosophical consideration of self and self consciousness re-focuses to humanity as a galactic species. We are no longer alone in the vastness of universe but part of a larger community. The moral consideration given to other-worldly beings provides new insight into how we see ourselves.

Consequently, Sci Fi can rise to status of parable in that it can provide contemplation on how to live one’s life. It ties in the ramifications associated with the decisions being pursued within the story by illuminating the moral and ethical considerations, as well as practical outcomes. In this way, Sci Fi becomes a forecasting instrument... a predictor of the near-future based upon current events… and a “moral compass” that allows for self-reflection and soul searching. Herein lays the value of the medium. It becomes a measuring rod whereby we gain perspective on our humanity. It becomes a lightning rod that conducts the power of universe and infuses us with renewed sense of wonder in experiencing universe.

Prophets of the Genre

The first prophet of Science Fiction has to be Philip K. Dick (12/16/28 to 3/2/82) whose published work during his lifetime was almost exclusively written in the Sci Fi genre. The predominant theme of Dick’s work is spirituality, as explored through several religions and philosophies, including Christianity, Taoism, Gnosticism and even Jungian psychoanalysis. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works, Dick's thematic focus revolved around his personal interest in metaphysics and theology.

This focus culminated in his masterpiece VALIS trilogy. The title is an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System, Dick's contemporary gnostic vision of God as information. In the first book of the trilogy, also titled VALIS, the metaphor for God takes the form of an intelligent satellite originating from the star Sirius in the Canis Major constellation, in orbit around our planet and in communication with the hero of the story, Horselover Fat. Blurring the distinction between fact and fiction, Dick himself recieves information from VALIS, which he chronicled in a gnostic journal he titled Exegesis.

Another prophet of Sci Fi is Frank Herbert (10/8/20 to 2/11/86). Herbert used his science fiction novels to explore complex ideas involving philosophy, religion, psychology, politics and ecology. The underlying thrust of his work was a fascination with the question of human survival and evolution. Herbert has attracted a sometimes fanatical fan base. Indeed such was the devotion of some of his readers that Herbert’s writing and concepts rose to cult status, something Herbert was very uncomfortable with.

Herbert’s masterpiece of Sci Fi was the Dune series. Dune chonicles the life and times of young Paul Atreides, aka: Maud’Dib as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the prescient awarness inducing spice… melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe. The story explores the complex and multilayered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology and human emotion, as factions of the Empire confront each other for control of Arrakis and its spice. The prophetic aspects of the series studies to destructive nature of fanaticism (jihad), and the adverse enviornmental impact of extractive economies (spice=oil). Herbert was one of the first authors of the genre to draw attention to enviornmental considerations.

Honorable mention goes to William Gibson (3/17/48) for his ground-breaking “Neuromancer” series. Gibson has been tagged the "noir prophet" of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction for coining the term "cyberspace" in his short story "Burning Chrome" and later popularized the concept in his debut novel, Neuromancer… book one of the series. In the context of Sci Fi as sacred text, Gibson put a new spin on the journey of the hero monomyth: A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man (Joseph Campbell).

The above list only scratches the surface of the increadable wealth of authors who write in the Sci Fi genre. Dozens of names come to mind such as Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke… and that’s just the first 3 letters of the alphabet.

Sacred Text

The works of the great science fiction writers, such as Dick’s Exegesis, provide new perspective on the earth-bound myths and become a wellspring from which we draw fresh philosophic sustenance. The greater the insights, the more important and valuable the texts become. Sacred texts are texts that a culture considers to be of central importance to their religious tradition. Typically they pertain to religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric. Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts are divinely or supernaturally inspired. Again, Sci Fi reveals and examines new facets of these questions that allow us to ask… what is meant by supernatural… what is divinity?

The essential importance and value of Sci Fi as a medium of the sacred is its ability to examine the age old questions with new eyes and to consider new possibilities in relation to “the powers that be” in our phenomenal universe. The old myths and legends transform anew into contemporary relevance as our consciousness reaches out to the stars. As the newly recycled parables present themselves, the new perspective brings fresh insight. An example of looking at old wisdom with new eyes… specifically in reference to our experience of the “other-worldly other”… the ancient truth known as the golden rule becomes:

Treat alien entities as you would like to have alien entities treat you.

Are our contemporary Science Fiction tomes comparable to the sacred texts of Earth’s great religious and philosophic traditions? Is the comparison absurd? Do they have the richness of content… the density of information? Does Dick’s Exegesis have the philosophic legs to be able to stand next to the Essene fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Today… the answer is… probably not… with the following caveat:

What would future historians think of these works if they were recovered in some archaeological dig of the 23rd century? Would today’s Science Fiction be looked upon as entertainment, or would they be studied as the beginnings of a new philosophic amalgamation? Would they be looked upon as a bridge between archaic earth-centric traditions and a galactic worldview? What began in the last half of the twentieth century as UFO phenomena, evolved into a global expectation of “disclosure” in the first half of the twenty-first century. At this most interesting juncture in history, would the above authors be seen as obscure story tellers or something more?

At the end of the day… any literature (or science) is only as good as its ability to teach us something about ourselves. If it can do that, then its worth the paper (or parchment) it’s written on.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mt. Shasta - Sacred Mountain Pt 2 - The search for extra-terrestrials at Hat Creek, California

 The Hat Creek Radio Observatory is located in Hat Creek, California. Hat Creek is a beautiful rural community, situated in high mountain meadows 45 miles southeast, as the crow flies, from Mount Shasta and is home of the Allen Telescope Array. The ATA is a joint project between the SETI Institute and the Radio Astronomy Lab. The ATA is currently under construction. When completed, the array will consist of 350 six meter (~20ft) diameter telescopes observing radio frequencies between 327 MHz (91 cm wavelength) and 11.5 GHz (2.6 cm) with possible expansion up to 25 GHz (1.2 cm).


The Hat Creek Radio Observatory began in the late 1950s and has been a pioneer in radio astronomy for nearly half a century. Scientists detected polyatomic molecules in space for the first time here. Much of what scientists know about star formation today came from observations made by our millimeter-wave interferometer dish array. One of the primary instruments at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory was an 85-foot diameter antenna that was installed in 1962. With the 85 ft dish, astronomers discovered the first interstellar maser, the radio analogue of a laser.

In the 1970’s Berkeley astronomers developed a centimeter wavelength radio interferometer at HCRO. The interferometer was used to accurately measure positions of water vapor masers in star-forming regions, to image giant radio galaxies like M87 and Cygnus A, and to study supernova remnants like the Crab Nebula.

Funding: Enter Microsoft
The following excerpt outlines the funding of the search for extra-terrestrials at Hat Creek by key Microsoft execs…

Two former Microsoft executives, Paul Allen and Nathan Myhrvold, are to provide $12.5 million to build a broadband telescope array to aid the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Allen, a billionaire, was a founder of Microsoft with Bill Gates; Myhrvold was its chief technology officer before leaving the company. Allen has given $11.5 million for the new equipment — having previously donated $3 million to SETI — and Myhrvold $1 million.

The ‘hectare array’ will be located at UC Berkeley’s Hat Creek Observatory in an isolated region of northeastern California, where the university operates an array of millimetre-wavelength telescopes. Berkeley scientists will build the telescope, officials said, with SETI coordinating development of associated computer equipment.

Mt Shasta Connection

 It is interesting that the search for extra-terrestrial life is being conducted so close to Mount Shasta, considered by many to be a UFO hotspot. The array is less than 50 miles from the Mountain, which is widely believed (within the UFO community) to conceal an underground base, as well as an extensive system of tunnels radiating outward in all directions. The following excerpt is from Cosmic Conspiracies, a UFO website in the UK…

There are tunnels beneath Mt. Shasta that lead to a UFO base there, as well as tunnels that connect with the vast world-wide tunnel network. The Lemurian city "Telos" is said to exist beneath Mt. Shasta. William Hamilton has done much research on Mt. Shasta and the tunnels. He has privately published a book entitled "Alien Magic" 249 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 651 Glendale, CA 91203

As entertaining as it is to connect the Hat Creek radio observatory with UFOs, Microsoft and Mount Shasta, are these connections merely a coincidence? Obviously Hat Creek ties in with UFOs, or at least the search for extra intelligent life in the cosmos. Additionally, Hat Creek is very close (geographically) to Mount Shasta. But what is really intriguing is the Microsoft connection. Just where did Microsoft get their advanced technology and why are they pouring millions into extra terrestrial research? Surly there isn’t a secret Microsoft base hidden under Mount Shasta?

The following adage comes to mind… "the truth is stranger than fiction".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Anglo-Saxon treasure found in UK

British archaeological experts say an amateur treasure hunter roaming English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered. Anglo-Saxon expert formerly with the British Museum's Department of Prehistory and Europe, Leslie Webster, says the 1,500-piece find is on par with the Book of Kells, one of the best-known illuminated manuscripts in the world. The experts say the trove includes covers for the ends of swords and hilt plates. Many of them are gold inlaid with precious stones.

The collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, found by Terry Herbert in Staffordshire, may date to the 7th century, is unparalleled in size and worth “a seven figure sum”. It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the British Crown. Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said it “was what metal detectorists dream of”. It may take more than a year for it to be valued. The treasure will revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the 5th century until the Norman conquest in 1066.

The Mercian rulers at the time are likely to have been pagan, so this will help archaeologists look back at the dark ages, and those historical figures, with more scrutiny than ever before. The Dark Ages were called the Dark Ages because it was seen as a period where, after Roman civilization, somehow culture of the era went backwards in time.

The Staffordshire Hoard organization will not reveal the exact location of the find, to prevent looting, but says it "lay at the heart of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Mercia" in an area now known as South Staffordshire. "The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship is consummate," said archaeologist Kevin Leahy, who cataloged the find. "This was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good."

Terry Herbert (The Treasure hunter who discovered the trove) says he has a phrase he sometimes says as he is searching:

"Spirits of yesteryear take me where the coins appear."

"But on that day I changed coins to gold," he says. "I don't know why I said it that day but I think somebody was listening and directed me to it."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tech Savy Tibetan Lama: the Dharma of ipod & play station

In an interview with The Times of India’s Rashmee Roshan, Twenty-four-year-old Trinley Dorje, the Karampa Lama… head of one of four schools of Tibetan Buddhism… discusses being citizen of the 21 century. Excerpt from the interview below…

I believe you like to listen to hip-hop on your ipod. Who are your favorite artistes?

I can't think of any specific artistes right now, I basically listen to what ever comes my way, whatever sounds appealing. It's important for me to stick to my traditional forms of art because I am a Tibetan Buddhist teacher wearing these robes. It's important for me to maintain my cultural affiliations.

But from time to time I do enjoy listening to hip-hop because it has a very modern sound to it and even though I'm a Tibetan teacher representing these ancient teachings, I'm also a global citizen in the 21st century. Hip-hop perhaps is one way of me being a 21st-century person.

Is that why you play war games on your play station because many might say it's inappropriate for a Buddhist monk dedicated to peace to play war games?

Well, I view video games as something of an emotional therapy, a mundane level of emotional therapy for me. We all have emotions whether we're Buddhist practitioners or not, all of us have emotions, happy emotions, sad emotions, displeased emotions and we need to figure out a way to deal with them when they arise.

So, for me sometimes it can be a relief, a kind of decompression to just play some video games. If I'm having some negative thoughts or negative feelings, video games are one way in which I can release that energy in the context of the illusion of the game. I feel better afterwards.

The aggression that comes out in the video game satiates whatever desire I might have to express that feeling. For me, that's very skilful because when I do that I don't have to go and hit anyone over the head.

But shouldn't meditation take care of that?

No, video games are just a skillful method.

Complete interview here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Discordianism vs the Illuminati

The late great Robert Anton Wilson, in the book series he co-authored with Robert Shea, collectively titled the “Illuminatus!” trilogy, illustrated an epic, century’s old struggle between the agents of chaos and control. Much like they're overtly (and campy) caricatures on the 60’s era comedy “Get Smart”, the agents for chaos (kaos) and control are diametrically opposed forces that engage in an unrelenting jihad of counterbalancing ideologies. At stake are the hearts and minds of the mostly-oblivious human population.

The above mentioned cult-classic television comedy depicts “kaos” as a sinister and secretive cabal… hell-bent on world domination by whatever means necessary. The only organization able to stand against this threat is “control”, a top-secret government counter-espionage agency. In episode after episode, the most outrageously ingenious plots of kaos are routinely thwarted by the bumbling “agent 86”, brilliantly portrayed by Don (would you believe…?) Adams.

Unlike the TV show, where lines between good and evil are clearly drawn, Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy weaves a tangled web of intrigue where the sinister element seems to be an age-old secret society acting as puppet-master, orchestrating world events. The stage is thus set: On the one hand is the secret cabal of control, known variously and overtly as the NWO, the trilateral commission, the bilderberg group, etc. and known most famously as the Illuminati. These secret chiefs control most of the world's governments and hence, indirectly their respective intelligence agencies and secret police.

On the other hand are the agents of chaos, comprised of a very loose-knit alliance of anarchists, heretics, poets, free-thinkers, etc., known variously as Discordians, Erisians and known collectively as the Legion of Dynamic Discord. This disorganization of the irreverent makes no claim on control, preferring to revel in the swirling vortex that is chaos theory to effectively challenge the predictable order of the Illuminati. The legion’s preferred tactic… guerrilla mind theatre… defies reason, thereby providing a necessarily perfect balance of power.

And so the two forces go eternally ‘round… in a cosmic dance of equilibrium… yin verses yang… perpetual contradiction. Was Wilson’s intent to personify the dualistic nature of the perceived world? Was his satire mocking a more serious political reality? Did he intend to convey a warning of the increasing erosion of individual liberty? Maybe… Maybe a clue to these questions can be found in the title of the campy TV show… “Get Smart”.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Article 9

The world’s second largest economy has outlawed war!

Imagine a nation aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, forever renouncing war as a sovereign right of said nation.

Imagine the worldwide benefits of taking Article 9 to the global level. The immense financial and human resources unleashed by disarmament could be immediately applied to developing practical solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, focusing on green technologies and green energy, education, solving poverty and health issues, implementing strategies against global warming and desertification, cleaning up toxic waste, converting weapons factories, and the disposal of nuclear weapons.

One more thing… article 9 was signed into law in Japan in 1947.

More at Kyoto Journal

Monday, August 31, 2009

Alien Intelligence Report… “They're made out of Meat”

Our operative with the Legion of Dynamic Discord, Jack Heart, intercepted the following intelligence report from what is believed to be an Arcturian Shuttlecraft. The content of the report apparently focuses on the consideration and ramifications of “making contact” with earthling humans. There seems to be some reluctance on the part of the Arcturans as to whether or not official contact and the normalization of diplomatic relations with humanity is a good idea. Find the full transcript below…

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the Orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the Weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads like the Weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"

"So... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Finally, Yes. They are indeed made out meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"So what does the meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat?"

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"


"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say?" `Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you have probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we can mark this sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."

- Short Story written by Terry Bisson