Saturday, April 28, 2012

Apocalyptic Daze

L’Étoile Mystérieuse

As an asteroid hurtles toward Earth, terrified citizens pour into the streets of Brussels to stare at the mammoth object growing before their eyes. Soon, it will pass harmlessly by—but first, a strange old man, Professor Philippulus, dressed in a white sheet and wearing a long beard, appears, beating a gong and crying: “This is a punishment; repent, for the world is ending!”

We smile at the silliness of this scene from the Tintin comic strip L’Étoile Mystérieuse, published in Belgium in 1941. Yet it is also familiar, since so many people in both Europe and the United States have recently convinced themselves that the End is nigh. This depressing conviction may seem surprising, given that the West continues to enjoy an unparalleled standard of living. But Professor Philippulus has nevertheless managed to achieve power in governments, the media, and high places generally. Constantly, he spreads fear: of progress, of science, of demographics, of global warming, of technology, of food...

by: Pascal Bruckner… Read on @ City Journal.

Note: The above article’s opening paragraphs refer to a TinTin story by Belgian author Hergé. In researching this, we were synchronisticly surprised to find “L’Étoile Mystérieuse” or “The Shooting Star” to be a tale that originates off-world. The story begins with TinTin observing an “extra star” in the constellation Ursa Major. The star turns out to be a meteor, which sparks the messianic prophecy referenced in Bruckner’s article.

We were doubly surprised to find the cover of “The Shooting Star” to feature a gigantic Amanita muscaria mushroom sprouting out of the meteorite that reached earth, causing Earth’s flora and fauna to magically grow to incredible proportions. Once again we see the imagery of extra-terrestrial intelligence, in the form of a Magic (psychoactive) Mushroom… seeding Earth and interacting with earthling DNA to produce amazing terrestrial mutations.

Curiouser & Curiouser…

This article was brought to our attention by our friend and colleague, Dennis (aka: Agent 87).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

She’s a Witch… Burn her!!!

History has a way of repeating itself… Once again the Catholic Church is persecuting women for the heretical nature of how they practice their faith. Recent actions taken by the Holy See bring up metaphorical connotations of medieval and colonial witch hunts. The historical search for witches or evidence of witchcraft (often involving moral panic and mass hysteria) resulted in the infamous witchcraft trials, sanctioned by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Witch hunts in Europe and North America occurred between 1480 and 1750… culminating in an estimated 45,000 executions of women, accused of witchcraft.

This time around, the Vatican is sanctioning the largest organization of nuns in the US… the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The LCWR is a canonically approved membership organization which exists as a support system and corporate voice for leaders of institutes, or congregations, of women religious (Roman Catholic sisters) in the United States. This is by far the largest organization of nuns in the US, with a membership of over 45,000 women.

The Vatican has decreed that the nuns' organization “had 'radical feminist' tendencies and had not taken a strong enough stance in support of Catholic doctrine against women's ordination, ministering to homosexuals, and abortion and contraception.” The Vatican's Suspicions against the Conference date as far back as 1979 when its former leader, Sister Theresa Kane, appealed to Pope John Paul II to consider women's ordination.

In a statement, the presidency of the LCWR, which represents most of the US's 55,000 nuns, said it was ''stunned'' by the findings of the assessment, conducted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict led before his election.

The LCWR announced this afternoon that the board of the group will meet in an "atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue" in May to discuss news that the Vatican has ordered it to revise its statutes and has appointed an archbishop to oversee the revision.

The announcement comes on the website of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which was the subject of the April 18 order from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and is signed by the group's president, president-elect, and past-president.

The statement says the national board of the group will meet from May 29-June 1 to "begin its discussion" on the matter… "The board will conduct its meeting in an atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue and will develop a plan to involve LCWR membership in similar processes," the statement continues. "The conference plans to move slowly, not rushing to judgment. We will engage in dialogue where possible and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. We ask your prayer for us and for the Church in this critical time."

...cooler heads.

Although no one has been burned at the stake… yet… the U.S. bishops appear to have become completely identified with right wing Christian politics in recent years. Now the Vatican has joined the current "war on women" that also is dominating the presidential race on the Republican side… shades of the Spanish Inquisition. As readers of this blog (and any scholar of tekgnostic literature) knows well… “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Amongst their weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope… and nice red uniforms!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buckminster Fuller & Maharishi

Back in 1971, the University of Mass at Amherst was the site of a remarkable meeting between Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and R. Buckminster Fuller. “Bucky” Fuller was one of the key innovators in 20th century America. He was a celebrated and award-winning philosopher, visionary, inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet, cosmologist, and was one of America’s first futurists and global thinkers.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of the Transcendental Meditation movement.

Maharishi and Mr. Fuller came from different traditions of knowledge, but both talked about the universal basis of the life of the individual and cosmos. The following video provides precious archival footage of their meeting with the press...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Babylon Bandwidth

The human experience is, to an ever increasing extent, being mediated by various information technologies. Indeed, the last 500 years of human history has been defined by breakthroughs in media. The printing press, the telephone, motion pictures, television, personal computing & the internet, cell phones & wireless devices... and most recently social media... have all “come between” humans and their desired data. These information platforms deliver our “content” with ever increasing immediacy. As this content is now instantly made available, our attention turns to those in control of content and its flow.

Modern media, defined here as the communications, entertainment and advertising industries, are suspect in that they dictate the content being delivered to the public. Media moguls within the entertainment industry control content, who in turn are influenced by advertising agencies that (along with their clients) bankroll the production costs of entertainment programming. Communications companies deliver, via their networks and a tech-driven array of wireless gadgetry, data rich content, created to a great extent by the entertainment industry.

This powerful media triad... communications, entertainment and advertising... secure political favor through the power of the lobbying industry, which controls our government. As opposed to other powerful industries seeking influence over our government such as Big Oil, the media triad's commodity is essentially the manipulation of the content of people's minds. Seeing an opportunity, our government seeks a “Quid pro quo.” As such, these industries wield enormous power and influence and cannot be trusted by virtue of the age-old adage that absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

Take television. There is a reason why TV executives refer to shows they produce as “programming.” There is a reason why advertisers pay small fortunes for commercials and for product placement in films. Their intention is simple. They desire to program the masses to do their bidding. Overtly, they want the masses to buy their products... but covertly... they want the masses to think the way they want them to think. They want people to think like good consumers. These masters of the airwaves will stop at nothing to broadcast their disinformation... to impose their version of reality to suit their nefarious agenda. This deceptive content of control we label “Babylon Bandwidth.” Here is a subtle and formidable adversary.

There is, however a major outcome of this “content” that is not completely controlled by the media masters. This is the all-important phenomena known as “popular appeal.” Although each agency controls their individual output, it's relative success or failure is dependant upon how it is received by the public. To be effective, output must be popular. To be popular, it must resonate on a deeply emotional (perhaps even spiritual) level with the masses. Try as they might, the media masters cannot consistently predict or control popular appeal. Consequently, each individual media mogul is forced to react... to constantly re-adjust their messaging, in response to popular sentiment.

Popularity is an intangible and more importantly, an ineffable commodity. If enough people are enamored with a media phenomenon... for a long enough period of time... it becomes a trend. This is of course the “holy grail” of the media industry. Since advertising effectiveness and hence advertising revenue is dependant upon mass appeal, significant research and development resources are budgeted to study such trending. For this reason, the collective output of the media industry is significant on a cultural level, as it mirrors the culture being targeted.

Close examination of the combined collective output of modern media tells us much about our global citizenry. By virtue of what is being marketed to us, modern media reveals perceived trends in how we think, feel and react to events of consequence in our world. Indeed, it illuminates collective characteristics of our consensual reality… our collective consciousness, as reflected by the manipulations of the above mentioned media masters. In this regard, popularity of media output becomes an indicator of what resonates, what “grabs the attention” of specific, or in the words of the marketing magicians... “target” populations. By scrutinizing how we are being marketed to, we gain more insight into who we are as a culture.

By waking up to Babylon Bandwidth, we begin to understand the extent of media manipulation... we begin to realize “how deep the Rabbit-hole goes.”

Today, as information technology evolves more rapidly, the media masters begin to lose control of the medium. Social media has to a certain extent, de-centralized modern media, diluting Babylon Bandwidth's hypnotic power. The perceptive and vigilant citizen can, in effect, use modern media to their advantage by gleaning trends in the media-stream. In considering trends, specific pieces of media content lose importance. In the words of Marshall McLuhan... the medium is the message… a medium itself, not the content it carries, becomes the focal point of significance. Realization of these trends allow us to sharpen our predictive faculties in contemplating the future.

With this knowledge, we look for ways to “break the spell” that the black-media-magicians have cast upon a largely unsuspecting public. We look for the tools and opportunity to push back against mass media programming, while developing strategies to better prepare for an uncertain future. Given the revolutionary and game-changing potential that information technologies put in the hands of the individual, the outlook is increasingly in our favor... if we are willing to fight for it. We move to take personal responsibility for building a better tomorrow.

We do not expect assistance from institutions of the old paradigm. The old guard will hold on to power as tightly as they can… as they always do. Maybe this is the way it should be. For it is the responsibility of each generation to wrestle the ring of power from the gnarled hand of the old guard.

Come we go burn down Babylon one more time…

Men see their dreams and aspiration… a crumble in front of their face.
And all of their wicked intention… to destroy the human race.

With music… mek we chant down Babylon…
So come we go chant down Babylon…

Come we go chant down Babylon… one more time.

- Robert Marley

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eastre - kristos anesti!

Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a consort, Attis, who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. Attis was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period March 22 to March 25.

Cybele originated as an earth goddess worshipped in Asia Minor, primarily at Çatal Hüyük. She was known as Kubaba and was earliest depicted as an earth mother… in plump and heavy forms. The name may be derivative of the local word for cube and may refer to a black meteorite that was associated with her, giving Cybele a distinct extra-terrestrial origin. The black meteorite was adapted as the head of the cult statue. Cybele, like Artemis of Ephesus, was a "black virgin."

She was primarily associated with the concerns of women, protection against one's enemies, the healing of grave illnesses, guardianship of the dead, a granter of boons and a giver of the gift of prophecy.

"About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection."

- Gerald L. Berry, author of "Religions of the World

Many religious historians and liberal theologians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Cybele’s consort, Attis… many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Later images of Attis show him as a shepherd, holding a shepherd’s crook or playing the panpipes.

Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity.

Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value with no connection to Jesus. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

The early Christians were determined to destroy the cult and St Augustine condemns her as a "demon" and a "monster" and the Gallae were "madmen" and "castrated perverts". In the 4th century CE, Valentinian II officially banned the worship of Cybele, and many of her followers perished at the hands of zealous Christians.

Justinian continued the persecution of the cult and the Gallae. Under his reign, transgendered persons, and those indulging in same sex eroticism had their property confiscated, sacred texts burned, temples raised; they were tortured, forced to commit suicide, or burned alive. By the start of the 6th century CE, the Cult and the ancient Gallae were extinct. Elements of the cult were assimilated into Christianity in a manner similar to that of Isis. There is a much of Cybele and Isis in the Virgin Mary.

According to Gerald L. Berry, author of “Religions of the World” …the original “sacred site” of the Cybele Mystery Cult was located on what was to become The Vatican. It seems that the master of assimilation, the early church, saw fit to appropriate the sacred site for their Holy See, later to build the Vatican City right on top of the Pagan site. Apparently attempting to “steal the mojo” of the earlier mystery religion.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

The Sacred Palm
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, riding upon an ass. In many lands in the ancient Near East, it was customary to cover in some way the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour. Because of this, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path with them and their cloaks has become symbolic and important.

The symbolism of the ass or donkey may refer to the ancient Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. Therefore, a king rides upon a horse when he was bent on war and rides upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Therefore, Jesus' entry to Jerusalem symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.

The sacred tree in Assyrian mythology is a palm that symbolizes Ishtar connecting heaven, the crown of the tree, and earth, the base of the trunk. Palm stems represented long life to the Ancient Egyptians, and the god Huh was often shown holding a palm stem in one or both hands. The Kingdom of Nri (Igbo) used the "omu", a tender palm frond, to sacralize and restrain. The palm tree was a sacred sign of Apollo in Ancient Greece because he had been born under one in Delos. In ancient Mesopotamia, the date palm may have represented fertility in humans. The Mesopotamian goddess Inanna, who had a part in the sacred marriage ritual, considered herself the one who made the dates abundant.

Before the advent of paper, an early book form in the Indian subcontinent was the palm-leaf manuscript, known as pothi. It had a long and narrow horizontal format and was seldom more than 60 cm long and 6 cm high. Despite its diminutive size, it was a durable instrument for communicating Indian religious thought for over 2,000 years. The manuscript was intended to preserve and disseminate Indian sacred texts in the service of religion, as well as the great literary epics.

At one of the Fourth Buddhist Councils, convened in Sri Lanka in the 1st century BCE, the Tripitaka was written out on palm leaves. After centuries of being memorized and chanted, the Pali Canon finally existed as written text.

In 16th century Europe, Palm Sunday was marked by the burning of Jack-'o'-Lent figures. This was a straw effigy which would be stoned and abused. The effigy represented the hated figure of Winter whose destruction prepares the way for Spring.

The river so white, the mountain so red
and with the sunshine over my head
The honky-tonks are all closed and hushed

It looks like Palm Sunday again

The sky is so green, clouds of canary
Blood moon rise like a fat ripe cherry
Sunset quiet as a benediction
One true love, the rest is fiction

If I stay longer, trouble will find me
An epitaph and a sheet to wind me
A passable day for the least of men

It looks like Palm Sunday again

It must be Palm Sunday again…

- Robert Hunter