Technology of the Gods

July 25, 2011 § 19 Comments

By Tai Carmen

“And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of 
the north and a great cloud, with brightness 
round about it, and fire flashing forth continually, 
and in the midst of the fire, as if it were gleaming bronze.”  (Ezekiel, 1:4)

The above painting, “The Baptism of Christ” by Aert de Gelder, was rendered in 1710.

Though religious scholars argue that such UFO-like representations in old works of art (of which there are actually quite a lot) are taken from the Bible’s many references to God’s showy appearance in bright clouds, whirling chariots of fire, whirlwinds and wheels, this protest only highlights the point that representations suggestive of ET presence date back further, and appear more plentifully, than many might imagine.

(Pictured below, Madonna with Saint Giovannino, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 15th century.)

(Pictured below, “The Annunciation with Saint Emidius” by Carlo Crivelli, 1486)

Ezekiel describes being visited by a“great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself ” (1: 4) from which emerged four living creatures with the “likeness of a man” (1:5), a wheel beside each living creature (vs. 15). “As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four(1:18).”

Each creature had “four faces and four wings” and “sparkled like the color of burnished brass.”  One had the face of a man, the others, respectively, the face of an eagle, the face of an ox and the face of a lion.

Interestingly, we see similar animal-headed divinities depicted in far older mythologies. For instance, the lion-headed Sekhmet of ancient Egypt:

The bird-headed Horus …

….the bull-headed gods of Ancient India….

…and the Apkallu griffin from ancient Sumerian mythology:

Some Apkallu are depicted as humans with wings …

According to the Babylonian creation myth, these ancient Sumerian gods, known as the Annunaki (translating to “those of royal blood” or “offspring of the prince”) created humankind to serve them by tilling the land, but the humans rebelled and the Annunaki freed them because they were more trouble than they were worth.

According to the Sumerian tablets, which detail the culture’s religious beliefs, the Annunaki were said to have “helpers” which “acted as if alive, but were not.” In other words, by our terms, android/inorganic beings. The picture below are Sumerian artifacts said to depict “servers or helpers of their gods.”

These figures resemble modern day descriptions of “grey aliens”

As do many ancient petroglyphs, such as the 5000 year old Australian cave wall renditions below:

The description of the Annunaki’s “helpers” sounds a lot like the Archons of the Gnostic Gospels, who were also described as being animated but without true life or spirit, inorganic by our terms. The Archons are said to be silent manipulators of humanity, whispering deceptive suggestions into our unconscious and feeding off the fear and confusion they produce with their psychological warfare.

As one alleged abductee on www.think-aboutit.com relates: “Our emotional adrenaline is like candy, or a drug to them. They can steal this from us by causing us to feel fear, to feel passion, hate, anger…” The same writer wonders if the ancient practice of sacrificing virgins to appease the gods was not perhaps related to this hunger for human energy.

Though admittedly speculative, it would explain an otherwise counterintuitive and weirdly prevalent practice of the archaic world.

Gnostic scholar and author John Lash relates:

“Physical descriptions of Archons occur in several Gnostic codices. Two types are clearly identified: a neonate or embryonic type, and a draconic or reptilian type. Obviously, these descriptions fit the Greys and Reptilians of contemporary reports to a T. Or I should say, to an ET.”

Other figurines of Sumerian deities depict distinctively reptilian types:

These tall, slim beings bare a marked similarity to some Native American petroglyphs (featured below) among whom stands, in this instance, a rather robot-looking individual:

Another Sumerian figurine depicts a very grey alien-like fellow:

The ancient Sumerian tablets known as the Lament of Ur describe an “evil wind” and a “great storm” as being responsible for the destruction of the great city of Ur. Many have wondered whether this does not describe dueling alien factions with advanced weapon technology. Certainly the “storm” described does not sound like your average man-to-man combat of the ancient world:

Enlil [Lord of the Wind, a chief Sumerian deity] brought Gibil [Lord of Fire] as his aid. He called the great storm of heaven — the people groan. The great storm howls above — the people groan. The storm that annihilates the Land roars below — the people groan. The evil wind, like a rushing torrent, cannot be restrained. It attacks the weapons of the city and completely devours them…

“Alas, storm after storm swept the Land together: the great storm of heaven, the ever-roaring storm, the malicious storm which swept over the Land, the storm which destroyed cities … May that storm, like rain pouring down from heaven, never recur.

David Hatcher Childress, author of Technology of the Godssuspects ancient atomic warfare, siting, among others, a discovery from 1947 (interestingly, the date of the alleged Roswell UFO crash,) which ran in the New York Herald Tribune:

“When the first atomic bomb exploded in New Mexico, the desert sand turned to fused green glass. This fact, according to the magazine Free World, has given certain archaeologists a turn. They have been digging in the ancient Euphrates Valley and have uncovered a layer of agrarian culture 8,000 years old, and a layer of herdsman culture much older, and a still older caveman culture. Recently, they reached another layer of fused green glass.”

“It is well known,” muses Childress, “that atomic detonations on or above a sandy desert will melt the silicon in the sand and turn the surface of the Earth into a sheet of glass. But if sheets of ancient desert glass can be found in various parts of the world, does it mean that atomic wars were fought in the ancient past?”

Childress adds that geological processes don’t account for the exact nature of these ancient sheets of desert glass:

“Lightning strikes can sometimes fuse sand, meteorologists contend, but this is always in a distinctive root-like pattern. These strange geological oddities are called fulgurites and manifest as branched tubular forms rather than as flat sheets of fused sand. Therefore, lightning is largely ruled out as the cause of such finds by geologists, who prefer to hold onto the theory of a meteor or comet strike as the cause. The problem with this theory is that there is usually no crater associated with these anomalous sheets of glass.”

Ancient Indian literature is rife with references to flying vehicles (called vimanas,) weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated technology.

The following excerpt from the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, details a blast that seems uncannily atomic:

“Gurkha, flying a swift and powerful vimana hurled a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor […] The cloud of smoke rising after its first explosion formed into expanding round circles like the opening of giant parasols…

“It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis [ancient Indian clan with royal/divine bloodlines] and the Andhakas [Hindu demons]…

“The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. The hair and nails fell out; pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white. After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected…A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts. All points of the compass were lost in darkness. Fierce wind began to blow upward, showering dust and gravel….

The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon. Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy… over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died. From all points of the compass the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely.”

Could the “fire and brimstone” that God rains down on Sodom and Gemorrah have been a nuclear detonation? Abraham looked toward the city and “lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” (Gen. 19:28)

Interestingly, Genesis also describes a rather speculation-inducing incident, detailing the interbreeding of fallen angels (ETs?) with human women:

“When men began to multiply on earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw how beautiful the daughters of man were, and so they took for their wives as many of them as they chose. […] The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1-4)

In The Book of Enoch (an ancient manuscript from Old Testament times, ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah) details the goings on of these fallen angels, called Watchers — as they were sent to “watch over” earth. (Enoch is cross-referenced in the Bible as a 365 year old man who “walked with God,” and afterward “he was not, because God had taken him” (Gen. 5:24).

According to the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim plundered the earth, causing great violence and perversion, at the height of which the great flood was sent to sweep the earth clean.

“The Book of the Watchers” and “The Book of Giants” (From The Book of Enoch) describes this hybrid human-Watcher offspring as giant savages who taught mankind about weaponry, cosmetics, sorcery, astronomy, reading and writing…interventions which displeased God.

This same idea of godly  intervention vs non-intervention recurs commonly throughout the world in mythology…perhaps most famously echoed in the tale of Prometheus the titan (interestingly, also a giant), who gave mankind the power of fire, only to be punished by Zeus with the eternal torture.

Many Christians have begun to wonder if ETs are not actually demons, but few have asked the question: were the demons of old ETs to begin with?

Is it a coincidence that satan is described as “the dragon?” Could satan be a symbolic stand-in for reptilians?

Interestingly, the Gnostic Gospels describe a revisionist form of the Garden of Eden story, in which the true creator God is distinguished as distinct and different from the gods who interacted with humanity after their creation, none other than the Archons.

The idea that aliens have been among us since ancient times is known as the ancient astronauts theory. Exhibit A: a 5000 year old suspiciously spaceman-looking figure found in Kiev:

Exhibit B: Astronaut-looking fellows in an Italian cave, dating back to 10,000 BC:

I tend to see epics like the Bible the same way I see the mythologies of all great cultures: stories of our ancestors worth studying for clues to our history and existence, containing truths which may be more allegorical, or, just as possibly, more literal than we allow ourselves to contemplate.

All possibilities should be considered.

From tales of the Sumerian Annunaki to the Gnostic Archons, from the Native American Star People, who came down from the skies to teach their tribes knowledge, to the ancient Egyptian gods who showed the priests astronomy — from the gods of ancient India, who traveled on flying chariots, to the God of the old Testament, who arrived on blazing whirling clouds with rings of eyes….something is going on.

Perhaps the idea of a heavenly war is not so farfetched as many a secular skeptic has believed. As Alison Goddard writes for the Times Higher Education, there have been reports of a series of mysterious explosions in outer space:

“British scientists hope to solve the mystery of gamma bursts soon. When a burst of gamma rays was detected in the sky in 1967, scientists at the Los Alamos laboratory thought that it was due to covert nuclear weapons testing. The discovery was not reported to the world until 1973, by which time many such bursts had been picked up by satellites designed to look for violations of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The data showed that what could have been nuclear explosions turned out to come from outer space.  More than 30 years later, gamma ray bursts continue to baffle scientists.” 

The experts, in this case, have only theories.

Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction and, as science fiction author Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

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The Politics of Normalcy

July 6, 2011 § 45 Comments

By Tai Carmen

“…if you are not like everybody else, then you are abnormal, if you are abnormal , then you are sick. These three categories, not being like everybody else, not being normal and being sick are in fact very different but have been reduced to the same thing.” Michel Foucault

Perhaps you noticed it, too. The word ‘anxiety’ appearing more and more in conversation, ads and media. People talking, not about ‘being anxious,’ (a moment that can pass) but about ‘having anxiety’ (a permanent affliction).

In “The Age of Anxiety,” a poem written in 1947, W.H. Auden links modern angst with man’s quest to find substance and identity in a shifting and increasingly industrialized world: …It is getting late / Shall we ever be asked for? Are we simply / not wanted at all?  

Writer-philosopher Albert Camus dubbed the 20th century “The Century of Fear.” One wonders what he would say about the 21st.

Writer Herman Hesse, exploring the age of angst in his novel Steppenwolf, attributes the feelings of isolation and loneliness in his protagonist to the breakdown of repressive bourgeoisie values, which let loose the wild, irrational forces within man without offering a new standard or value system for support, thereby creating an uneasy limbo, lacking guidance and direction.

Though the subject has been explored for centuries by writers and philosophers, social anxiety disorder did not officially exist until it appeared in 1980’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the DSM-III — the psychiatrist’s bible of psychological afflictions — under the name “social phobia,” the same book which once classified homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Not that the problem didn’t exist before — it was the ancient Greeks, after all, who coined the word agoraphobic —  but during the latter half of the 20th century, anxiety seems to have shifted culturally from a covert issue to an overt one.

By the 1990’s pharmaceutical companies received F.D.A. approval to treat social anxiety and poured tens of millions of dollars into advertising its existence. In 2002,  Anxiety Disorders Association of America reported that 19.1 million (or 13%) of adults ages 18-54 were affected with a form of anxiety disorder. Now the percentage has climbed to 40 million (or 18%) of the population.

The current version of the DSM-IV describes diagnosis as warranted when anxiety “interferes significantly with work performance” (italics mine) or if the sufferer shows marked distress about it.

So in other words, according to the DSM, if you can’t adjust to your life as an employee, you may have a disorder. If it affects your productivity within the system, that’s the true indicator of a problem.

Of course, this makes sense on an individual basis — why wouldn’t job performance be an issue for individual workers? We all have bills to pay.

But on a broader level, from the perspective of analyzing cultural trends and messages, it strikes me as eerily dystopian that humans should be viewed like malfunctioning robots who need repair because their efficiency has faltered, rather then looking into possible problems with the work places themselves (environment, demands, etc).

Not “Maybe we need more breaks to maximize efficiency,” but “Maybe you have a problem. Take a pill and get back to work.”

There is a lack of humanity in the description, an emphasis on product over person.

In Madness and CivilizationMichel Foucalt notices the link between society’s labor needs and their attitude towards the socially maladjusted:

Before having the medical meaning we give it, or that at least we like to suppose it has, confinement [of the insane] was required by something quite different from any concern with curing the sick. What made it necessary was an imperative of labor. Our philanthropy prefers to recognize the signs of a benevolence towards sickness where there is only a condemnation of idleness.

I want to be clear that I am not criticizing individuals for taking anxiety medication. I am not telling anyone to stop taking their medication or saying it’s weak or wrong to do so. It’s a personal choice. We need all the help we can get, and I understand that medication is one form of help for many people.

My interrogation, rather, is aimed at our perception of anxiety as a society — our knee-jerk reaction of repression over investigation, of labeling the feeling a disorder, rather than seeing it as a potential initiation into deeper mastery of one’s will and character, or as a symptom of an imbalanced social system.

Interestingly, angst as put forth by the existential philosophers refers to the spiritual dread one experiences in the face of one’s own freedom. As Kierkegaard said in The Concept of Dread:

 “I would say that learning to know anxiety is an adventure which every man has to affront if he would not go to perdition, either by not having known anxiety or by sinking under it. He therefore who has learned rightly to be anxious has learned the most important thing.” 

In that context, there begins to appear something ominous about the medication of such a feeling, which may be uncomfortable, but also suggests the presence of our own grand possibility. If anxiety is a natural reaction to the experience of our own overwhelming freedom, what will it mean to repress that sensation?

Some might take issue with the fact that I am not drawing a distinct line between philosophical anxiety and physiological/psychological anxiety. I am aware that our society sees them as different issues — one as garden-variety-human-condition-angst, which everyone experiences to some degree, and the other as the more pathological, in-need-of-medication-chemical-imbalance anxiety. This is because I don’t believe they are different. Rather, I think they are gradations of the same experience.

I see the varying interpretations of anxiety by different fields as exactly that: interpretations. The difference between, say, a poet’s description of an elephant and a zoologist’s. The elephant remains the same.

Just because one field has identified the chemicals related to the feeling does not mean the chemicals are the beginning, or the end, of the story.

Social anxiety is often linked with introverts — incidentally, a much misunderstood personality type within our modern culture.

“The day may come,” says Susan Cain in her recent New York Times article, “Shyness: An Evolutionary Tactic?” “when we have pills that ‘cure’ shyness and turn introverts into social butterflies […] [But] the act of treating shyness as an illness obscures the value of that temperament.”

As a culture we need both the shy, sensitive introverts to ponder the deeper meanings of things and the assertive, bold extraverts to take action and get things done. Diversity in a species is an evolutionary advantage.

Case in point: evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson performed a simple but telling experiment on a school of unknowing pumpkinseed sun fish. About 15-20 % of animals display introvert characteristics of caution (interestingly, the same percentage as in humans,) called “sitters,” compared to the more curious, assertive “rover” types…

The biologist lowered a metal trap into the water and a large number of  “rover” sunfish went inside to investigate — only to be caught. While the more tentative “sitter” sunfish, who sat back and watched, remained free.


“Had Professor Wilson’s traps posed a real threat, only the sitters would have survived,” points out Cain. “But had the sitters taken Zoloft and become more like bold rovers, the entire family of pumpkinseed sunfish would have been wiped out. ‘Anxiety’ about the trap saved the fishes’ lives.”

Wilson then caught all the sunfish and took them back to his lab. The rovers acclimated faster, eating a full five days earlier than their sitter brethren. In this case, the rovers had the evolutionary advantage.

“There is no single best … personality,” Professor Wilson concludes in his book, “Evolution for Everyone,” “but rather a diversity of personalities maintained by natural selection.”

Yet we live in a culture which treats the sitter personality as freakish. “Just do it!” our slogans roar. Action is prized over contemplation, assertiveness over timidity. One way we manifest this bias as a society is by encouraging perfectly healthy shy people to see their tendencies as problematic, needing to be cured.

Studies show that introverts, who tend to digest information thoroughly, do better in school than their extroverted peers, despite having the same I.Q. The careful, sensitive temperament from which both shyness and anxiety can spring is not only rich in observational skill, insight and inner vision, it may well be essential to the survival of our species — a point well illustrated by our friends the pumpkinseed sunfish.

As science journalist Winifred Gallagher points out: “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Neither E=mc2 nor ‘Paradise Lost’ was dashed off by a party animal.”

I’m not saying that people who take medication are doing so to “conform to the status quo,” (obviously they are doing it to feel better and to function more effectively in their life) but the increase of medication use in the Western world does suggest the possibility of an increasingly homogenized human experience.

Though some might argue that such “increased homogeny” is just fine if it entails a more well-adjusted life experience, I am suspicious of terms like “well adjusted,” because they require that we hold a yardstick up against the majority to measure the minority; it fails to account for individual temperament or the gifts that come with eccentricity.

Back to the original thought: being anxious vs having anxiety. This is a shift of language I have witnessed in my lifetime. And what a consequence the simple replacement of “having” with “being” implies: one is an emotion that passes through you, another is something you are stuck with, a state, part of your personality, even your identity.

And could it have anything to do with the multi-million dollar pharmaceutical companies filling the airwaves with the language of “having?”

What great symphonies, works of literature and philosophies would not have been created had the sensitive temperaments creating them been medicated? And what will our society look like in 100 years if it continues down its current trajectory?

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