Fifth Wednesday Post

Notes on the Lemurian Deviation

It’s been more or less standard practice on this blog for a while now that, whenever there are five Wednesdays in a month, I ask my readers what they want to hear about, and write an essay on that subject for the fifth Wednesday’s post.  That’s resulted in some of the stranger essays I’ve published here. Readers who don’t know their way around the lingo of classic Western occultism may well have suspected, the moment they saw the title of today’s post, that it was going to be another addition to that list.  Those who are literate in that admittedly exotic jargon—well, they didn’t have to guess.

By that term “classic Western occultism,” by the way, I mean the great synthesis of occult thought that emerged in the nineteenth century, as scholars and occult practitioners revived the magical traditions of the Renaissance and reinterpreted those and older teachings with an eye toward modern science and the spiritual traditions of Asia. From its birth in 1854, with the publication of the first volume of Eliphas Levi’s Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic, to its gradual eclipse in the last decades of the twentieth century, classic Western occultism gave rise to an extraordinarily rich and diverse body of spiritual teachings.

There is no universally accepted orthodoxy in those teachings, though the followers of certain writers have now and then tried to create one; there is, rather, a broad consensus whch admits of endless variations. Those of my readers who know their way around the religious dimensions of the ancient world will probably already have thought of Gnosticism, and the comparison’s a valid one:  the old Gnostics didn’t have an orthodoxy, either, and the narratives included in collections such as the Nag Hammadi library are just as diverse and creative as the narratives of classic Western occultism.  It’s one of the things that happens quite reliably when the religious traditions of a civilization fall victim to rigor mortis, and people start to turn to the quest for personal experience of the inner realms of being as a replacement for blind faith in someone else’s visions.

Philip Sclater, the inventor of Lemuria.

It was within classic Western occultism that Lemuria first became a familiar presence in modern times. I’m not sure how many people realize these days, however, that Lemuria started out its strange career as a scientific hypothesis, not an occult teaching. It was first proposed in 1864 by British zoologist Philip Sclater to explain an anomaly in the fossil record. Lemurs, those archaic primates now found only on the island of Madagascar,  had also been found in fossil form in southern India. In those days continental drift hadn’t even been theorized yet—it spent half a century being dismissed as crackpot pseudoscience by the scientific establishment once Alfred Wegener got around to proposing it, but that’s another story.  So the only option Sclater could come up with to explain those lemur fossils was a land bridge that must long ago have connected India with the eastern shores of Africa.

If you’ll look at a globe or a world map, you’ll find that a line drawn from southern India to eastern Africa cuts across the western half or so of the Indian Ocean. Something odd happened, however, when occultists started talking about Lemuria, which they did in the 1870s. They placed it much further east, roughly where the islands off Southeast Asia are today. They didn’t limit its occupants to lemurs, either. According to the visionary accounts collected by occultists in that era, Lemuria had been an important center of human culture in an age long before the rise of Atlantis.  Its people rose to a relatively high level of civilization in those distant times,  and spread colonies and cultural influences across much of the world.  Thereafter natural disasters caused their homeland to be drowned beneath the ocean, and a long and troubled era followed before the dawn of the Atlantean age millennia later.

Of course these claims were dismissed out of hand by the scientific establishment of the time. What makes this dismissal especially interesting is that research during the last few decades has shown that in broad outline, the occultists were right.  There was a land mass south and east of Southeast Asia, a subcontinent the size of India, whose mountain ranges now form island chains in that region of the world. Geologists nowadays call it Sundaland.  It was above water at the height of the last Ice Age, when most of today’s temperate zones were frozen tundra or vast wastelands of glacial ice; it was inhabited by human beings, and it seems to have been the place from which at least one language family and several important early technological innovations spread through the rest of the Old World. So some unexpected scraps of actual knowledge seem to have found their way to occultists back in the day.

Sundaland 20,000 years ago.

Mind you, that doesn’t mean that everything you’ll read about Lemuria in occult sources from the classic era of Western occultism is worth taking seriously.  One of the great mistakes made by the occultists of that time—a mistake that was enthusiastically cheered on by some of the leading figures in the movement, and is still being perpetuated in certain incautious circles today—was overconfidence in the factual accuracy of material drawn from visionary sources. A great deal of material about the Lemurian era and the rest of our species’ distant past was obtained through what occultists then called clairvoyance and their avant-garde heirs today call remote viewing.  Can you get accurate information that way?  Sometimes, yes, or so the evidence suggests, but what you get is inevitably jumbled up with stray imagery from a galaxy of internal and external sources, and has to be assessed with great care.

This wasn’t something that leading occultists at the time were willing to concede. The crisis of philosophy I discussed two weeks ago was an explosive issue in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  The thought that seership could be used to do an end run around the limits to human knowledge Kant had traced out was very tempting to enthusiastic thinkers at that time. Unfortunately those limits apply just as forcefully to clairvoyance or, shall we say, imaginative consciousness, as they do to every other mode of human experience.  That was how we ended up with giddy accounts of Lemurian prehistory in which hermaphroditic, egg-laying Lemurians walked pet plesiosaurs on leashes through an atmosphere composed of “fire-mist,” and a great many other claims about the Lemurian age that sounded plausible a century ago but look pretty daft in the light of more recent knowledge.

The moral to this story?  Human psychism, like human reason and the human senses, is anything but infallible, and needs to be tested against other sources of evidence to determine just what kind of sense to make of it. What makes the old occult teaching about Lemuria worth taking seriously as something more than a symbolic narrative is that it meshes surprisingly well with evidence from other sources, such as historical linguistics and paleoclimatology. What makes those plesiosaurs on leashes, fire-mist atmospheres, and some of the other oddities of occult Lemuriology less useful outside the realm of symbolism is that other sources of evidence contradict them. All this should be kept in mind as we turn to the Lemurian deviation.

We can start with the narrative of the Fall of Humanity laid out in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis: the story of Adam, Eve, the serpent, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the rest of it.  These days, as far as I can tell, most people either take that story literally or reject it completely. The occultists of the classic era did neither. They agreed with the atheists that the whole business of talking snakes and magic apples could not be taken seriously as a literal description of what happened—but they agreed with the orthodox that something had happened.  There was an event corresponding to the legend, and the memory of that event was passed down through countless generations in the form of a colorful folktale.

A colorful folktale.

The occultists noted that stories of a drastic misstep somewhere far back in humanity’s past, an event that in some sense brought death and suffering into the world, are tolerably widespread in the myths of ancient peoples:  the story of Pandora’s box is one example that’s well known to most people these days.  They argued that the early narratives of the Bible generally should be seen as folk memories of distant events, more or less garbled by the passage of time:  for example, it’s a common claim in the old occult literature that the story of Noah’s flood is a similar folk memory of the catastrophic global floods at the end of the Atlantean age, when the last of the great ice sheets melted and sea level shot up dozens of feet in a relatively short time.  Treat the Old Testament as the collected legends of an ancient people, the occultists suggested, and you avoid the paired traps of blind faith and blind hostility; look through the narratives rather than at them, with an eye toward other sources of evidence, and you might just glimpse dim memories of distant ages of the world.

The Fall of Humanity is one of those memories, a dim and distant echo of an event far in the past. The occult traditions also have a more detailed account of that event.  Here’s the story as I was originally taught it, quite a few decades ago.

The Lemurian age was the third great cycle of human civilization on this planet; we’re currently in the fifth, and occult tradition has it that there will be seven in all. The two preceding it, the Polarian and Hyperborean ages, took place in an era when the poles were free of ice—presumably, though this detail wasn’t discussed when I was first studying the matter, those ages happened during the last interglacial, when global temperatures were much warmer than they are today and the poles were correspondingly warmer. By Lemurian times the poles were sheathed in ice, and a warm and fertile land mass southeast of Asia was a much better site for human societies.  Over a period of many thousands of years, great civilizations rose and fell in Lemuria and in other parts of the world, most of them long since lost beneath the oceans. (Today’s dry land, remember, was high and cold in those days, and since people in the Lemurian age apparently didn’t have cheap abundant energy sources, they left the uplands to nomadic tribes, and built their cities in warm and fertile lowland regions that are now under two to four hundred feet of sea water plus various depths of mud.)

We’re heading in the same direction.

We don’t know much about the civilizations of that age, either in Lemuria or in the other parts of  the world where settled communities rose. According to the narratives passed on to me, however—for whatever that source of information is worth—the subtle sciences of consciousness we now call “magic” were developed to a very high degree of sophistication in Lemurian times.  At some point before the seas started rising—nobody’s quite sure how long before that event—that sophistication enabled Lemurian mages to make contact with certain disembodied intelligent beings who had fallen behind an earlier cycle of evolution.

There’s a fair amount of disagreement in the sources about just what these beings were and where they came from. One set of teachings proposes that they belonged to the evolutionary wave before ours—souls, in this way of thinking, go through the process of descent into matter in waves, and many waves passed through that process long before the wave to which all human souls belong got started on its pilgrimage through material existence. Souls in the wave before ours who flunked out, in effect, remained in contact with the material realm after their more successful peers rose up the planes to other modes of existence.  Unable to take on material bodies, they were stuck here until another wave of souls—ours—descended to the material plane and evolved enough intelligence to interact with the stragglers of the last wave.

That’s one theory. Another claims that the beings in question are left over not from a previous wave but from what the old literature calls a previous universe and we would probably call a previous solar system. A strange teaching found in some of the old sources claims that the planet Saturn is in some sense the remnants of a long-dead sun; in terms of our current knowledge of astrophysics, this might mean that the primal dust cloud that became the solar system received a spray of matter that had been part of a supernova, and that material ended up predominantly in the part of the cloud that became Saturn. Did souls from that long-dead system who had failed at their evolutionary tasks drift into our solar system with that matter?  It’s an intriguing thought.

These beings have a variety of names in different traditions. Those occult systems that draw on the Cabala use the Hebrew word Qlippoth, “shards” or “shells,” for the entities in question. Those that draw more heavily on Blavatsky’s Theosophical writings prefer to call them the Lucifer spirits or Luciferian spirits. Other teachings have other names. We can use a simpler label for them:  demons.  By all accounts they are conscious, disembodied beings, considerably more intelligent than we are but spiritually far more unbalanced or, if you will, debased.

Until the Lemurian age they had no access to human beings. The workings of the Lemurian mages changed that, opening a nexus by which we could contact them and they could contact us.  That nexus endures to this day, and will endure as long as our species exists. It’s a permanent part of our collective karma as a species.  Before the Lemurian age, we could ignore the demons. Now we can only overcome their influence, or fail to do so. Since the nexus endures and works in both directions, when we overcome their influence, we complete part of our work and bring them closer to their own eventual redemption. When we submit to them, or try to control and manipulate them as the Lemurian mages did, we sink a little closer to their level, and make our own evolution as well as theirs more difficult than it would otherwise be.

The opening of the nexus of contact had another enduring effect on our species. Before that point, human beings experienced themselves as individualized parts of a whole, not as isolated, separate beings. However dimly, they could sense the connection between their personalities (the self that endures for one life) and their individualities (the self that endures from life to life), and through the individuality, to their divine source.  The workings of the Lemurian mages broke that sense of connection, and not just for themselves—for all of us, all subsequent humanity.

It takes a lot of work to get back to where we once were.

Those of my readers who’ve read mystical literature will recall the state of oneness with all things that many mystics describe, in which the self is differentiated but not separated, individualized but not cut off from the rest of creation.  According to the story, that was the normal state of human consciousness before the Lemurian deviation.  That’s what we lost, and can only regain through a slow and difficult pilgrimage through the world we alienated from ourselves. That, in a very real sense, was when death entered the world—of course material bodies died before then, but if you’re aware of your individuality and its link to its divine source, death isn’t much more of an issue than taking off your clothes before sleep, knowing that you can put on something else tomorrow.

So that’s the story as I originally learned it, and as you can find it in some occult writings—Dion Fortune, for example, has a terse but useful commentary on the subject in her book Applied Magic. Other writers tell the story in different terms, or with different emphasis.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, classic Western occultism isn’t burdened with an orthodoxy; its narratives are meant to inspire individual inquiry, not to mummify into dogma. This is simply the version I learned first, and the one that continues to make sense to me as a way of thinking about certain aspects of the human condition.

Are any of those versions accurate accounts of something that happened more than twenty millennia ago in the subcontinent that today’s geologists call Sundaland?  I have no idea. It might be another colorful folktale, a little better suited to modern tastes, embodying an echo of ancient events.  It might be something approximating an outline of those events. It might be a myth—in Sallust’s useful phrase, one of those stories that never happened but always are.  It might simply be a convenient metaphor that helps explain some of the features of human experience.

If it is in some sense an account of a real event, of course, it makes perfect sense that we should know so little.  We know embarrassingly little about what happened a mere five thousand years ago in the early stages of the Egyptian, Sumerian, and Indian civilizations, and far less about what happened in the late Ice Age civilizations that are all bundled up these days under the convenient label of “Atlantis.”  Lemuria, or whatever its inhabitants called it back in the day, was already a matter of dim legend by the time the Atlanteans first learned to read and write.

Of all the events, achievements, and disasters of a long age, what survives to the present of Lemurian history is little more than a name, a rough sense of location, and the shadow of a tremendous mistake. It’s quite possible that when the seventh and final age of human civilization comes along, the events of our own age will be just as obscure to the people of that time as the events of Lemurian history are to us. It wouldn’t surprise me if the legacy of our time is recalled in that far future as a name (probably not any of the ones we use now), a vague sense that human civilization in our age was in some sense centered in Eurasia, and the shadow of another tremendous mistake—the one we made collectively when we decided that it was a good idea to try to achieve limitless economic growth on a finite planet.

“Long ago, in the industrial age…”

It’s been said that people go crazy all at once in large crowds and come to their senses slowly, one at a time, in solitude. Whether or not this is universally applicable, it’s true tolerably often in human history, and I’m sure my readers can think of plenty of recent examples. With that in mind, I’d like to wish my readers a pleasant New Year celebration and encourage them to spend a little extra time alone over the days ahead, reflecting on how we got here and what each of us might do about it. The year about to begin promises to be a tumultuous one, and a little extra clarity may come in handy.


  1. John–

    So goetic disciplines obviously fall under the category of seeking to command or control these beings, but I’m wondering what aspects of our modern world might also correspond that kind of activity, though in a less obvious way? Or human civilization more generally? I’d guess this current runs deep.

  2. It leads one to wonder why the Lemurian mages would contact such beings in the first place. Since this appears to have been at the height of glaciation, perhaps the motivation was to get control over the climate, something the mages couldn’t have done on their own. Our own efforts to ‘control’ the weather have been pretty miniscule aside from making better forecasts and perhaps the mages of old weren’t satisfied with the little they could do, so they tried to enlist some assistance, no doubt to their bitter regret.

    I can recall a vision of sorts I had many years ago. I was waiting for a ride and watching snow fall. Suddenly I had a flash of insight that the snow was alive and not just the snow either. It was everything and it was not alive in the sense I had always thought it, but more a quality of aliveness. It seemed like the normal way to actually see things and after the insight passed, I wondered why we couldn’t see this all the time. Original sin is not simply disobedience but the desire to control things to your own ego’s satisfaction. We’re still paying the price even today. Alas

  3. @ JMG – Thank you for plopping this essay down at the end of a year that, I think, needs this kind of story!

    Growing up as a non-believer in a land dominated by evangelicals and orthodox protestants (is that a contradiction in terms?), led others to tell me I was going to hell with regular frequency. BUT, I always could get along with the Catholics I met. Maybe it was the shared disdain heaped on us by the hyper-protestant majority? Or maybe, it was because the only people I had any success talking to about religion, all happened to be Catholic?

    Keep in mind, when I could get in a reasonable conversation about religion, even as an obnoxious teenager, I rarely had in mind that I wanted to prove to these people that atheism was the way to go, I just wanted to talk about the broader universe, without running smack into the brick wall of “this is the only way to read the Bible, and the Bible is the only book worth reading, and also, you’re going to hell.”

    All of that is a long way of saying, that I recall very specifically, the first time the concept of Heaven, for lack of a better term, ever made sense to me. I was talking about the meaning of life, or some such topic, with a Catholic friend. I asked her what she thought ‘Heaven’ meant, if it wasn’t just a reward for behaving the way you’d been told to behave. She replied that she thought the way to think of it, was re-connecting with God, after being separated from the divine, here on Earth.

    While I never wholly bought into the notion, it did make a lot of sense to me at the time, and still does. All of this is a long way of say, when I read this line; “That, in a very real sense, was when death entered the world—of course material bodies died before then, but if you’re aware of your individuality and its link to its divine source, death isn’t much more of an issue than taking off your clothes before sleep, knowing that you can put on something else tomorrow.” Well, this really stuck a note with me, like an idea I’ve been fumbling towards for twenty something years. It also led me to two questions:
    1 – Is there a specific book, or author, you’d recommend I read, who explores these ideas?
    2 – I don’t really have a more articulate way to ask, do you think it was just circumstance, that made me more receptive to hearing out what Catholics had to say, or maybe something deeper?

  4. I’m glad you mentioned the scientific origin of Lemuria, showing how science influences the occult. I suspect its adoption by occultists probably didn’t help its acceptance by science before plate tectonics, demonstrating that science has defenses against ideas moving the other way, at least after Issac Newton. It also didn’t help that Eduard Suess had come up with an earlier and larger land bridge, Gondwanaland, that occupied much of the same area. That’s the hypothetical land mass that Alexander Du Toit repurposed as the name for the southern supercontinent and is the one scientists use today, not Lemuria. Ah, the contingent nature of history!

    Speaking of which, I know of another lost continent, Mu. When I looked it up, I found that its advocates thought it was both another name for Lemuria and another location for it entirely, in the middle of the Pacific. I can easily think of material reasons that refute its existence, such as the lack of flooded continental crust in the area — advocates of the idea might be better off moving it farther south to New Zealand, which has that geologic feature — but I don’t know what the occult reasons for its disadvantage relative to Lemuria are. It’s certainly not in the scheme of the sequence of five civilizations you mentioned. Do you have anything that could shed light on Mu not being as accepted in occult circles as Lemuria, if that’s indeed the case?

    Before I leave, I looked up the major language family thought to be from Sundaland. It’s Austronesian, which makes sense in terms of its current distribution, but not in light of other evidence, which points to Taiwan. That’s the one most linguists accept. Do you know of a way to reconcile those two views?

  5. Intriguing speculation, JMG.
    Would it be fair to say that the way you proceed with an idea is to see how well it fits with other aspects of what we know and/or believe; a coherentist approach rather than a hierarchically syllogistic approach?
    If so, am I correct in supposing that your belief in reincarnation springs from the idea that the idea is qualitatively plausible because it makes sense of a lot of other things – or even that it an essential component without which one’s world-view sags into implausibility – rather than that there is direct evidence for it?

  6. Hey JMG, can you say anything about how and why contact with demons would cut humans off from their individualities and remove us from the state of oneness you described? Thanks for the post! Definitely a fun one.

  7. W have two things over the Lemurians in terms of future peoples remembering us. Our recent inventions of giant landfills entombing millions of tons of plastic and our habit of stashing radioactive waste with an active lifespan of millions of years will leave future civilizations with a good idea of what we were all about. I think it might be better to fade in to obscurity than to have the bad rep I am sure we will have millions of years from now.

  8. Happy New Year to you John, and to Sara. Happy New Year to all my fellow readers of Ecosophia and your writings. Thanks for this account. It definitely resonates.

    Seeking a bit of quietude in the new year is a definite theme. Something that came through in a recent meditation: “Resilence is a Silencer”… so I’m looking to see what I can put into silent mode so I can be more resilient.

    Peace & blessings to you all.

  9. Hello JMG,
    I wonder if you have ever read Eden in the East by Stephen Oppenheimer? He is a doctor who studied genetics and mythology of populations in the remnants of Sundaland. It’s been awhile since I read the book, so here is a brief description from wikipedia:

    “In his book Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia, published in 1998, Oppenheimer makes a case that the rise in ocean levels that accompanied the waning of the ice age—as much as 500 feet (150 m)—during the period 14,000–7,000 years ago, must be taken into account when trying to understand the flow of genes and culture in Eurasia. Citing evidence from geology, archaeology, genetics, linguistics, and folklore, he hypothesizes that the Southeast Asian subcontinent of Sundaland was home to a rich and original culture that was dispersed when Sundaland was mostly submerged and its population moved westward. According to Oppenheimer, Sundaland’s culture may have reached India and Mesopotamia, becoming the root for the innovative cultures that developed in those areas. He also suggests that the Austronesian languages originate from Sundaland and that a Neolithic Revolution may have started there.”

    One data point from the book that I recall was Oppenheimer’s discovery that the story of Adam and Eve seemed to originate from Sundaland and that Eden was located in the East because refugees from Sundaland who settled in the West – from Egypt to Mesopotamia – located their lost paradise in the drowned lands to the East. The expulsion from Eden was more about the physical loss of the land than loss of a spiritual connection or descent of demons.

    The ubiquitous flood myths speak to this kind of thing happening all over the planet at the end of the ice age. It’s curious that the humans always associate these events with their own misbehavior and take it as punishment from the Gods. Why do you think that is?

  10. What a difference a year makes. I remember last year how many people welcomed in 2021 so enthusiastically, thinking 2020 was a crazy aberration and science and technology would triumph again in 2021. This was especially true for leftists who also were celebrating the triumph of Biden over Trump, but even a decent amount of conservatives were hopeful that COVID and all the impacts upon society could be put in the rearview mirror during 2021.

    That narrative was dead by the end of summer. I don’t see any of that sort of celebration happening regarding New Year’s 2022. Nobody seems very optimistic about this upcoming year no matter their opinions on politics and the COVID narrative. The question is just, How bad will it get?

  11. What a fascinating post, JMG. A trip down memory lane for me, and a different slant on what I learned in college, though we did cover some of this in geology. I’ll have to do some reading on the occult analysis of Earth History, as it was one of my favorite classes back at the U of Minn in the spring of 1981.

    In class we had a lively discussion one day about the religious conflicts with the fossil record, and creationism vs. evolution, and I distinctly remember the professor pointing out that evidence of the Flood was more based on historical narratives from peoples all over the world versus the geologic record. But she didn’t poo poo the religious angle, but offered the information up as an important part of the discussion. We also discussed Atlantis briefly, but there was no information around the occult sources of history. The textbook detailed the epochs of the planet from formation through the present, with the theory of plate tectonics being relatively new and morphing into a consistent theory based on the older one of continental drift. It was the only textbook I read from cover to cover in college. Maybe because it had such cool drawings.

    As a side note, I struggled with the tests in that class, but attended every lab, and my teaching assistant went to bat for me when the final grades were posted, and with his input, moved me up from a high D to a C. This, in spite of having knocked over a plastic casing around a 350 million year old fossil one day in the lab – my professor was pretty cool, saying she had to recast it anyway. But for me, it was a significant inflection point – the C allowed me to stay in school (I was already on academic probation), change majors, get my degree the following year and launch my career – the rest, as they say, is a history….:-)

  12. Very interesting post, JMG. If I may ask, what other sources speak on the subject of the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, etc. Ages? Is the general length of an Age in any way related to a Great Year ( approx. 25,772 years, one complete cycle of the equinoxes around the ecliptic)?

  13. If something like this were literally true, it would make sense of something I’ve been puzzling over for a while.

    It seems to me that there are two different sorts of evil of which human beings are capable. Plato discusses this in the Phaedo, when he describes the fate of the souls of murderers after death. There are two possibilities, he suggests: Those who commit what we would now call “crimes of passion” are tormented in Tartaros until their victims are willing to forgive them, after which they are able to reincarnate. On the other hand, those who commit massacres are condemned to remain in Tartaros forever, their torments a warning to others. To mass-murderers, he also adds those who commit sacrilege; both of these are stuck unable to return to the material world. Elsewhere, Jesus hints at the same sort of thing when he tells us that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”

    If you’ve ever been anywhere a mass murder took place– not a crime of passion or even an act of gangland violence, but the type of “rampage killing” that makes headlines– the psychic atmosphere becomes absolutely toxic, in a way that is impossible to describe. It’s as if some pair of monstrous jaws had reached into our world and taken a bite out of it. If this teaching is correct, that is one of the signs of demonic activity. The conscious, deliberate rejection of the divine– described as “terrible sacrilege” by Plato and “blasphemy against the Spirit by Jesus– is the other, or another. We were meant to deal with suffering, pain, hardship, and violence during our earthly sojourn, but we weren’t meant to deal with the demonic. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with it.

    …It is also worth noting that one of the teachings that you find in Chinese occult lore is that the souls of human beings can actually become demons, by a kind of leveling up process. So there’s also that.

  14. Also, two oddities in connection with this post.

    When I was 24– 14 years ago, and half a decade before I started studying magic or occultism in any form– I began writing a series of science fiction novellas. The premise was that the characters had gotten hold of a spaceship which traveled through hyperspace. Hyperspace, however, does not exist, and so the place through which they traveled was a kind of mental space which appeared to them in a form that made sense to their imaginations. Unfortunately, there were evil things in this mental realm– destructive, monstrous forces, which were leftover remnants from a previous universe. In the stories, these evil things, which I didn’t yet know were called “qliphoth,” were only able to gain access to us once we evolved the capacity for symbolic consciousness. There were 9 characters onboard the ship, who, I later realized, correspond fairly closely to the 9 planets of modern astrology. This is one of several reasons I’m convinced I studied occultism in a prior lifetime.

    The second oddity– I didn’t know you were planning this post for today, but last night I dreamt of Pandora’s Box, specifically in connection with this topic. For some reason, in the dream I was told that “Penelope” was the gift given to humanity to combat the evils released by Pandora. Penelope was the wife of Odysseus, and I don’t know if that part of the dream had any meaning.

  15. Thanks, JMG. Happy New Year to you and to the commentariat.

    I know this history is speculative, but my first thought was, What? It took us until the Third Age to make this mistake? We humans being what we are, I thought it would happen about five minutes after our first civilization started!

  16. > We can start with the narrative of the Fall of Humanity laid out in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis: the story of Adam, Eve, the serpent, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the rest of it. These days, as far as I can tell, most people either take that story literally or reject it completely. The occultists of the classic era did neither. They agreed with the atheists that the whole business of talking snakes and magic apples could not be taken seriously as a literal description of what happened—but they agreed with the orthodox that something had happened. There was an event corresponding to the legend, and the memory of that event was passed down through countless generations in the form of a colorful folktale.

    This was beautifully put, and exactly what the Catholic Church teaches about the story of Adam and Eve.

    It really is amazing that for thousands of years before the rise of agriculture (and a few thousand years after), people had their own cultures and stories and were doing things in ways that were incomprehensible to people in modern cultures.

    How we know about those things…… well, I’m not so sure I’m a fan of remote viewing. But we do know the world humanity evolved in was a different world.

  17. Thank you Mr. Greer for writing on this topic. I have had a long standing interest in pre history and its great to see someone consolidate much of the occult perspective on the subject. I wanted to run a few relevant data points by you and the other readers that I thought you might all find interesting.

    For starters, the Torah contains a number of pieces of information that look like they could not have come from bronze age shepherds. I assume you’re tempted to say these things come from older civilizations. These points include,
    1) The instructions for how to build the ark given to Noah must have come from someone with knowledge of how to build large sailing vessels. Nautical engineering has very specific ratios for the height, width, and depth of a large navel vessel that will bear a tremendous amount of weight, which the Bible nails perfectly. This would make sense if a great society fell beneath the waves.
    2) The Hebrew word for serpent, nachash, describes a shimmering or shinning being. There is a good argument that this is where the connection to the term “Lucifer” came from, which would make sense if at some point we made a deal with shinning, spiritual beings with dark intent (as opposed to the dark version of Dr. Doolittle with a talking snake).
    3) Circumcision is supposed to take place on the 8th day, which is also when blood clotting reaches its maximum and thereafter trails off to normal levels. At birth blood clotting is very underdeveloped and newborn are at high risk of bleeding out if cut unless they get a vitamin K shot. How did they figure this out without advance knowledge from somewhere (presumably it was not through trial and error).
    4) The Israelites were told to let the land lie fallow once every 7 years, which is exactly what organic farming practices require.
    5) Every 50 years they were supposed to cancel all debt, which is about the maximum length of time you have before a currency taking on debt will crash and need to reset.

    Also, the dates you give for the Atlantic and Lemurian empires are very interesting. About every 10,000 years the polarity of our planet inverts. Magnetic north becomes magnetic south and the compasses face the other direction. It seems like the dates for the collapse of the last two epochs of human civilization correspond to these polarity shifts. Interestingly enough, another polarity shift began in the 20th century and will continue for generations to come, which brings up interesting questions about our own place in history…

    Finally, dispensationalism, a theology that breaks the Bible into 7 distinct periods, came into existence in 1828 under Darby. That fact that the Christian theologians starting arguing for this at roughly the same time occultists starting arguing for a similar division of 7 epochs (although one group had a much shorter time frame than the other) seems curious.

    I’m not sure what to do with all those data points but they seem to me to be to interesting to ignore.

  18. I recently have become interested in ancient Sumer, not least exactly how they got started. Any suggestions on sources?

  19. I read a different version of this tale, transposed in a dungeons and dragons like world. To quote: “Long ago, in their quest for a perpetual motion machine, the ancients created a gate to a different dimension where “infinity” existed. They managed to draw infinite power through the gate, but they attracted creatures from the other side. Those are demons. The demons liked mortals desires; demons are powerless, but eating human desires gives them strength. Those people who had all their desires consumed wasted away and died. This frightened the ancients. To prevent the demons from using the gate at will, the ancients built dungeons. This kept the demons from reaching the surface easily. In the end the ancients kept giving the demons their desires, and it destroyed them. “

    -Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui

    It is worth noting that the ruins of the perpetual machine powered culture are near the very bottom of the dungeon, and the structure becomes more contemporary medieval closer to the surface.

    There is another setting (Interspecies Reviewers) which involves demons, but this was more of a murthrolep setup, which the democratically elected demon party sought to dramatically progress society by draining the mana of the earth to power their techno-magical machines. The land, drained of mana, promptly collapsed within a few years, destroying the old capital of the land in a great sinkhole of a crater. As a result, the demon party has been shunned politically in the centuries since then (the rather Venerian orc party, with their policy of food self sufficiency, low taxes, stability over expansion, emphasis on food sleep and fun, is the party in power currently and for the foreseeable future), and demons as a species are ill regarded for relationships. This tale is microscopic background element in the larger story, which is a sex comedy (the protagonists were looking for a brothel which was perched on a spire of land which defied the rather anti-sex demon party and was cursed to remain intact despite the rest of the land collapsing and subsiding around it).

    Both being Japanese stories, it is impressive how well informed the Japanese are with western occult material. I have read that there is a strong Prussian/German influence, but I imagine the American occupation right at the peak of classical American occultism had leavened the Japanese occult scene.

  20. Thank you for a most thought provoking post!

    I have always found the expulsion from the garden of Eden story one of the most interesting in the Bible for a couple of reasons: first because there is, at least in all the translations that I have seen, clear reference to plural gods.

    “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
    – Chapter 3. verse 22 & 23. Holman pronouncing edition (1902)

    That “…one of us,” always struck me as interesting for a supposedly monotheistic tradition!

    Secondly, on a mytho-historical level, I find the whole story describes very nicely the transition from living in a bountiful ‘garden’ where everything is a gift (hunting & gathering) to dust and earning your bread by the sweat of your brow. (agriculture) Complete with thistles, ornery snakes, and for women, the specific punishment of subjugation to their husband:

    “Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

    This story seems, to me at least, to explain nicely the early period of the current inter-glacial, with the changing environmental conditions that forced many groups into a greater reliance on cultivation, with all the centralized control of food reserves and specialization that large scale agriculture usually brings. Including the control of women.

    “…thy desire shall be to thy husband,” I interpret to mean no sex with anyone other than ‘thy husband’. And “…he shall rule over thee.” seems to imply that such was NOT the case prior to this transition. This fits nicely with observations regarding a more general equality between the sexes in most hunter gatherer groups and the general lack thereof in most mono-cropping agricultural communities.

    I also find it quite interesting that the current Cult of Progress grew out of a culture that began their creation story with a fall from grace!

    Best wishes to everyone for the coming New Year!

  21. @Ighy: Thanks for bringing up “Delicious in Dungeon”. I love that manga. I’ll be honest I haven’t read it, but I’ve seen it at work and cataloged it. It looks super fun. It makes me hungry for ramen with a cube of black jelly.

    Manga comics have amazing looking titles and plots it seems. “The time I got reincarnated as a slime” and “reborn as a polar bear” should also all be on my “to read” list.

  22. David BTL, you’re most welcome. As for your question, that’s a deep one. Any time human beings seek to manipulate the world rather than participating in it, I think there’s at least some trace of the Lemurian deviation in that action.

    Jeanne, it’s certainly possible to speculate, but nobody knows. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that it was the same logic that leads the gullible to do similar things now: “But we can learn so much from them!”

    Ben, I’m scratching my head trying to remember books that have that specific take on things — I’ve read them, but it was a long time ago. As for your second question, I suspect it was more than coincidence, but that’s a guess on my part.

    Vincelamb, my guess as to the unsuccessful career of Mu is that occultists who tried to pick up details of it by clairvoyant means drew blanks far too often. As for Taiwan, well, every successful civilization I can think of expanded considerably during its growth era, and ice age Taiwan and Sundaland aren’t exactly far apart. In all probability the same civilizations inhabited both, and other places as well.

    Robert, yes to the first question, no to the second. I use a coherentist approach because human logic as such is so weak a reed to lean on — we have no way of knowing, after all, if our logic is any more than a set of processing habits hardwired into our minds. As for reincarnation, there is indeed evidence for it, quite a bit of same; you might try reading some of Dr. Ian Stevenson’s voluminous books on the subject.

    Youngelephant, we don’t know. If we did, we could probably fix it.

    Clay, there’s that! More broadly, it’s pretty clear that if there were advanced civilizations in the past, they didn’t figure out the trick of extracting abundant energy from fossil fuels — if they had, there would be no fossil fuels left for us to burn! — and our mass production of waste has only been made possible by the extravagant amounts of energy we’ve thrown around.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Seaweedy, no, I hadn’t, so thanks for this! That’s well worth looking into. As for why human beings relate flood myths to their own misbehavior, it’s probably because there’s a connection. How do you think people will remember the global flooding of the next few millennia?

    Owen, excellent! Both are alternative narratives about the past. The question is which of the various alternative narratives makes sense in terms of the data at hand.

    Kashtan, the irony is that I’m actually feeling very hopeful about 2022. It’ll be rough, no question, but I think a lot of people have been shocked out of unproductive habits of thought.

    Drhooves, I’d like to see more attempts to draw connections between geology and the occult traditions. George Winslow Plummer, who used to be the head of one of the traditions in which I’m an initiate, gave it a really good try in 1919 and 1920, but, um, a lot of what scientists thought they knew about earth sciences in those days turned out to be garbage, and his book Rosicrucian Fundamentals badly needs an update!

    Graham, the sources I know of are spread out through occult literature — you can find discussions of the earlier cycles in Blavatsky, Steiner, Heindel, and many others. There doesn’t seem to be a direct link between these ages and the precessional cycle, as the end of the Atlantean age is traditionally dated to 9600 BC, so right around the beginning of the age of Cancer.

    Steve, that would indeed make sense — it’s the difference between human evil and demonic evil. Those oddities are, well, odd…

    Jon, but we humans weren’t as we are until that happened. That’s just it — what we are now is a fallen version of what we once were, or what we might have been.

    Rus, I’ve always appreciated Oswald Spengler’s clear discussion of the fact that each culture understands the world in a different way, and those ways don’t — and indeed can’t — make sense to those of other cultures. To borrow a phrase from Wittgenstein, each culture is its own form of life, and cannot be grasped except from within its own standpoint.

    Stephen, those are indeed interesting viewpoints. My Cabalistically educated friends tell me that if you know how, you can unpack an extraordinary amount of information from the Torah; of course the same is true of other ancient scriptures — ask a properly trained Hindu pandit what’s stored away in the Vedas, and you’ll be taking notes for a very, very long time! There seems to have been a concerted attempt in very ancient times to save as much knowledge as possible in oral tradition, and those traditions eventually got written down as scriptures.

    Pygmycory, hmm! That’s not a subject I’ve studied. Anyone else?

    Ighy, Western occult ideas are hugely popular in Japan these days; I’ve had several books translated into Japanese, for example, and Japanese editions of books by Manly P. Hall, Israel Regardie, et al. aren’t hard to come by. Thus I’m not at all surprised that the same ideas are popping up in fiction there, as they did in America — L. Frank Baum and Robert E. Howard are only two of many American writers whose fiction was deeply influenced by classic Western occultism.

    Ken, all valid points. I don’t think that most prehistorians pay anything like enough attention to the cataclysmic global droughts that followed the end of the last ice age — most of the big deserts of the Old World, including the Sahara, were grasslands before that happened! — and the difficult changes in human ecology and culture that followed from that are very likely mirrored in this as in many other legends.

    Tidlösa, we simply don’t know. It was a long time ago.

  23. @Steve T re #16

    One of the meanings of Penelope in old Greek is ‘weaver’. She is also
    associated with faithfulness because she fended off her would-be suitors
    while waiting for Odysseus to return, preserving his kingdom for him.

  24. Very interesting post! I wonder if ground-penetrating radar or something similar could be used to search for ancient sites in Sundaland.

  25. JMG:

    A very thought provoking post, thank you!

    I have a question about the word “demon” as you use it here. Does this correspond to the meaning of the ancient Greek word daemon, or is there a distinction?

    On the legacy of our time, and how the future will interpret it: I was thinking along the same lines last night, watching the BBC series “River,” which is set in modern-day London. The massive architecture that dwarfs human beings, the lack of trees and other signs of the natural world, the bleak desperation of the inhabitants, struck me with a chilling vision of that place millennia from now, after humans are long gone.

    “I met a Traveler from an antique land…”

  26. Dear JMG – do you think L. Ron Hubbard may have cribbed the ideas of thetans and how they attach to human souls from Lemurian traditions? I know he was involved for a time with (and ripped off) John Parsons, but he was a Crowley follower. I’ve not seen such a connection made by other writers who have addressed Scientology, but I am not sure how broad their knowledge of occult traditions was.

  27. It’s also interesting to note that Lemuria would have been the home of other human species besides Homo sapiens. I was going to post that the dwarf species Homo floresiensis survived nearly until historical times, as the most recent specimen was dated to 12,000 years ago. Apparently this has recently been updated to 50,000 years ago. That’s disappointing, but also very interesting, as it means that the disappearance of Homo floresiensis coincides with that of the neanderthals, H. erectus, and other human species.

    This then leads to an obvious and rather chilling suggestion. The evidence is that humans like us lived side by side with other human species and subspecies until a particular Date X, around 40 or 50,000 years ago, after which time every other human species mysterious disappears from the archaeological record. Might it be the case that the collective consequences of contacting the demonic realm only affected Homo sapiens– who then lashed out in rage against all those other human species who maintained our original form of spiritual consciousness?

    Another way of saying this– Are we the sons of Cain?

  28. Is hell a perpetual death and heaven just the opposite of it, a perpetual rebirth? Hell would mean the broken yin / yang, with no possibility to complete the full cycle.

    Wonder if these beings are stuck at perpetual death because they are completely disconnected form the universal consciousness? You call it debased. Even if the contact with these demons did a severe damage to our consciousness, we are still left with the free will to choose the heaven over hell. That choice seems like added difficulty, part of the karma.

    Your take on what human death used to be seems correct. The Old Testament also notes the life age of the first humans as close to thousand years. I’ve also heard from several medical professionals who believe that painful birth, monthly menses and drastically shortened human life span are all symptoms of the same process of degradation of human species. It makes sense to me that the spiritual fall caused the physical degradation as well. The old humans probably also had a completely different understanding of evil before making contact with this new kind of demonic evil. Are the occultists projecting humans to go on and explore any new types of evil, or was this a unique occurrence?

  29. Forgive the multiple posts, but something just clicked, or a few things did…

    Above, Seaweedy points out the book Eden in the East, which suggests that the Genesis story may have come from Sundaland.

    I was recently reading or listening to something– I wish I could remember what, but I read too much, and listen to too much; it might have been a JMG book, for all I know– which suggested that the two creation accounts in Genesis are, in fact, accounts of two different creations, of two different races or types of human beings… only one of which Falls.

    And I was going to say something about how the archaeological record shows that we have shared this planet with many human species– but for some reason, despite all the references to giants in ancient literature, we haven’t found any records of giants.

    You see where I’m going with this, right?

    We have stories of two creations, two races of men… stories from a drowned land, far to the East… stories of evil giants, children of the Fall… but we have no records of giants… just records of dwarves… dwarves we appear to have exterminated…


    In a drowned land, far to the East.

  30. JMG – I came upon a MM comment, I think, where you wrote something to the effect of “maybe Earth needed a species to dig up her fossil fuel reserves and that’s why she evolved humans”. Almost like Gaia has that uncomfortable feeling of earwax building up and needed a finger to clear it out 😀

    And, at the same time, maybe our wave of souls needed this experience of thinking there’s one right way (there rarely is) and that it have anything to do with gaining power over nature.

    Could the Lemurian deviation also have been such an experience? I.e. it was something our wave of souls needed to learn? Has that idea appeared to any occultists? Or could it truly have been free will of the Lemurians?

    I was gonna guess that their motivation was just like our w/ fossil fuels – try to get something for nothing. Given chronology, maybe it is our motivation that is just like theirs :D. I suppose we’d have to start by understanding what their culture valued. If they wanted air travel, they would’ve pursued fossil fuels instead. So they must’ve valued something they thought demons could do for them.

    I think others have also pointed out, “how could the Lemurians know about demons before making contact?” Could the inspiration have come from one of Dion Fortune’s ‘a Great Entity on a different place’ swinging past ours?

  31. Hi John Michael,

    That’s my thinking too, it is going to be an interesting year.

    The problems which arose in the early 1970’s never went away, and neither were the core issues dealt with in any meaningful sense. They could have been, but I suspect our species culture is such that it was going to go down badly, sooner or later. Most species given our opportunities would have acted so, it’s no big deal.

    Tell ya what though, given decline has been going on for near on half a century now, the effort going into papering over the underlying reality is pretty impressive. Credit where credit is due and all that stuff. I couldn’t have spruiked the sort of nonsense I see in the news and kept a serious looking or rather earnest poker face. Incredulity would be my reaction: “You want me to say, what?”

    And here’s hoping it isn’t too bumpy a ride down. I’ve been poor before, it’s not that hard, although as a state of being it generates fear in people. Plenty of people on the planet are super poor.

    Economically speaking, we’ll soon hit an impasse between inflation, unemployment and maintaining the stupid asset bubbles. My gut feeling suggests based on history that inflation will be tackled, which will prove unpleasant for unemployment and those pesky asset bubbles. Still, demand is being tackled by utter weirdness right now, so who knows? It could get weirder. 🙂 Far out.



  32. I live in a place where the previous civilization tapped into demonic power to gain new territory, made human sacrifices, and lost it all including much of their genetic heritage. I’m seeing the same pattern play out not only in 1930’s Germany, but in the US as well. Those last 13 soldiers in Afghanistan and especially the 10 locals who were wiped out in a drone strike for no reason at all just seems like an appeasement move, conscious or not. I stopped taking my liberal friends seriously when Obomber was in office and their anti-war stance changed to “that’s just how it goes”. Now they are the ones lining up for the Jim Jones Flavor Aid. It all makes me wonder if the true crime of murder is not in the act itself or the suffering it causes, but in the heart of the murderers and those who accept the Terms and Conditions without reading them. It would seem the only thing that brings the demons anything remotely resembling satisfaction is to see us fall into the cold suffering emptyness just like them. I’m starting to understand why you give away most of your income to charity, and am also rethinking the usefulness of my weapons collection.

  33. Long Lost Lemuria eh? Certainly possible or even probable. I think of events I’ve experienced just in my lifetime that, year by year, are cooling into simpler mythologies, distorted by politics, the inconvenient nuances forgotten.

    As for that region of the world, it certainly feels like one of earth’s magical geographies. 30 years ago, I took a trip from Singapore to Bangkok, lingering in Malaysia. It’s truly tropical and feels almost like a trance if you’re not used to the climate. It’s certainly a civilized, peaceful part of the world, but very different from the West. More generally, I wonder what direction hyper modern Asia is going as we decline, given a hotter climate and expensive energy. They seem to have the cultural mojo to figure things out, but man that’s some insane population density,

  34. Those are beautiful moments, when you glimpse that everything around you, even the smallest grain of sand is alive and you are part of it. And then just imagine all those countless stars and planets in our galaxy and those even more countless galaxies surrounded by a vastness of seemingly empty space that dwarfs even the mightiest galaxy by many orders of magnitude. More stars than grains of sand can be found on our tiny planet. And everything is alive. So little do we understand. But then sometimes I wonder if there’s anything that can be “understood” at all.

    As for the question why the Lemurians might have made that contact (if they did) – why has our civilization created the technological disasters that plague us today? Maybe that’s what’s called temptation and maybe the 7th human civilization will finally master to let it pass.

    Greetings to you all and best wishes for the new year!

    PS: The hour of the Golden Apple, Yes!

  35. Here in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
    According to the Maori legend of the “Fall” story. The children of Rangi – sky father, and Papatuanuku – earth mother, fell to squabbling amongst themselves. The children, in a states of restless, rebellious spirits – wanted things to happen their way. They sought to separate Rangi (father) and Papatuanuku (mother) but were not strong enough at first. There was great argument amongst themselves. Eventually they settled on big brother Tane – god of the forests. Tane with the help of his siblings was able to set his shoulders firmly against Rangi, and with his feet firmly planted on Papatuanuke, pushed with great effort, blood sweat and tears, forcing the parents apart – thus causing a state of separation to ensue.

    There were some children who weren’t so happy with this action – one I seem to remember was Tangaroa – god of the oceans who wanted to unite again – but he was drowned out. The Maori legends go on, tussling in various ways to reunite, without much success it would seem, but I think “things are coming home to roost now” so to speak. I am calling this unfortunate state of affairs the “mother of all shadows”, with ongoing shadow work. The Maori myths line up with other myth stories.

    The way I see things going? – There is light. Things are lighting up. Everything is being drawn up. Love is infinitely powerful, resourceful, resilient and relentless. Good!

  36. There a newly discovered lost continent around New Zealand, but it way predates humanity.

    As far a flood myths, the Black Sea has had an interesting recent history. At the moment they think it refilled over a few decades which still might serve as a base for flood myths.

    The big uncertainty is that the Bosporus is very active geologically, so exactly how and when the Black Sea was cut off and reconnected is complex. Sea level is bouncing up and down, though mostly up, and so the land at the outlet.

  37. @pygmycory: anything by David Wengrow! He has several freely accessible scholarly articles on material culture all the way from the earliest Neolithic through village cultures like Ubaid on to Uruk and Sumerian culture, and two books, one very recent, that touch on this.

  38. Vala, sure, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In a couple of recent books — Mark Adams Meet Me in Atlantis is one — there are conversations with people who do underwater archeology (not the big name professors, the technicians who run the submersibles et al.) that suggest that they know perfectly well that there are urban ruins in areas that were above water in the ice ages, and nobody wants to deal with the can of worms that will be opened if those are officially recognized.

    Goldenhawk, no, I mean the word in the ordinary English sense. As for London, if you can find a copy, you might like reading the prologue to Richard Jefferies’ After London, published in 1885. Here’s how it opens: “The old men say their fathers told them that soon after the fields were left to themselves a change began to be visible. It became green everywhere in the first spring, after London ended…”

    Gollios, Hubbard was familiar with a pretty fair range of Western occult traditions — a lot of people in the science fiction scene were, though you won’t get SF types admitting that nowadays. Lemuria in particular was all over science fiction back in the day. He may well have gotten his notion of thetans attached to human souls from that source.

    Steve, I wish I could say for sure that you were wrong.

    Raymond, you’re welcome.

    Anne, that’s certainly one way to think of heaven and hell! If the theologians are right and Hell consists of being cut off from the divine, we all fluctuate between heaven and hell as we go from life to life; the one thing the occult traditions insist on is that it’s not an eternal thing except in very specific, very rare cases — and in those, what happens is that the soul ends up in the same fix as the demons, and will have to wait for a future cycle of time for redemption. As for new types of evil, as far as anyone knows, it’s a one-off.

    Steve, yes, you could draw that conclusion as well…

    Alex, some occultists hold that the Lenurian deviation was a necessary thing for us — Heindel and Steiner argued that. Others disagree. As for the influence of another Great Entity, that’s entirely plausible.

    Chris, recently it’s felt to me as though the mistakes of the early 1980s have almost played themselves out, and we’re almost back to where we were in the 1970s, facing the same choices all over again. Maybe we can display more brains than a drunken hamster this time.

    Heretic, thank you. That’s always what happens when people invoke demonic powers: they lose everything. You’d think that would have sunk in by now! This line of yours —

    “It all makes me wonder if the true crime of murder is not in the act itself or the suffering it causes, but in the heart of the murderers and those who accept the Terms and Conditions without reading them.”

    — should be made into the business end of a branding iron and brutally branded into the backsides of those who think the ends justify the means.

    Brian, I’ve never been to Asia, and at this point I don’t expect to get there in this lifetime. My guess is the major cultural units will pull through okay, after shedding a lot of population — but we’ll see.

    Nachtgurke, they are indeed, and “understanding” is at best a sense of oneness and at worst the delusion that a brain consisting a few pounds of wet jelly can comprehend the universe. As for the hour of the Golden Apple, yes indeed. The Time of the Rising Podge is upon us!

    Geoff, that’s a grand old myth, so thank you! Interestingly, you can hear the identical myth from the northwest coast tribes here in the US — I heard Salish tribal elder Vi Hilbert tell it at a Seattle Folklife Festival one year. The suggestion that there may have been cultural contact between Polynesian and Northwest Coast cultures has been made; weirdly, too, there are rock formations in Washington State that are also found in Aotearoa, having been broken up by continental drift some fantastic length of time ago…

    Siliconguy, fascinating. They should still check it for ruins; it’s by no means certain that we’re the first city-building species on this planet.

  39. @PygmyCory #20 – On Sources about the Sumerians

    – “A History of the Ancient Near East” by Marc Van De Mieroop – I can’t speak much to this one, but it was the textbook for one of my classes in college. From flipping through it, it looks like a decent high-level overview, though it covers from Sumeria up through Alexander the Great, so it might not have as much detail on the Sumerians as you’re looking for.

    – “The Treasures of Darkness” by Thorkild Jacobsen – A history of the religions of Mesopotamia, it has some lovely translations of Sumerian poetry. Maybe not as useful if you are more interested in other topics, but great if you want to know more about the religion and mythology

    – Hardcore History – Judgment at Nineveh – From the ever-excellent Dan Carlin, if you like podcasts, Hardcore History is phenomenal. This one focuses more on the Assyrians than the Sumerians, but if I remember right, he gives an overview of the prior history of Mesopotamia. Really good for putting in perspective how *very* long ago all this was.

    – “Epic of Gilgamesh” – Technically, the fullest version we have is Babylonian, but the Penguin edition I have (again, from college, I was an Ancient History major) includes some of the Sumerian fragments that can be identified as being about some of the same incidents told in the more complete Babylonian epic. A good edition of this will include an introduction that gives some historical and cultural context.

    – “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” by Julian Jaynes – Another more specialized work, but one that uses the writings of Mesopotamia/the Bible as evidence for a rather controversial theory of how modern “internal monologue” consciousness came to be (also the Iliad and the Odyssey as a parallel set of evidence). Greatly influenced Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash” when combined with Hawkins’s theory of memes and some of Chomsky’s theories on deep structures of language.

    – “War in Human Civilization” by Azar Gat – Again, not specifically about Sumeria, but it includes a pretty in-depth discussion about what drove early urbanization (his theory: to protect each other against raids by neighboring groups). This is a big, sprawling, interdisciplinary work that is a great example of how to pull together evidence from multiple fields, regardless of the subject matter, but if you are at all interested in military history, it is exceptional

  40. So far no one has mentioned James Churchward and his ‘Mu’ books! I was entranced by them when i was around 12years old. Later I found that he was probably a hoax.

  41. @pygmycory: One shorter article by Wengrow that I liked especially is The changing face of Clay. The history of everyday stuff has the advantage of showing continuity from small-scale prehistorical societies to the literate states we know better about. It doesn’t make much sense to ask what language people in the 8th, or 6th, or 5th millennium BC spoke in Mesopotamia, because we have no way of knowing. Even when we do have the first writing, it is sometimes pictographic and could therefore be used to transmit different languages. Therefore, it makes little sense to ask when Sumerians arrived, or when Sumerian culture started. All we can do is look at gradual developments and sudden changes in material culture.

  42. Its another Wednesday and this week at Green Wizard we’re taking a break from working with our hands to work with our brain in “Basic Visualization – Playing In Your Mind”.

    Memory and the Art of Visualization are perhaps one of the most important tools in your kit, but one that so few people really learn to use well. Come ready to get your brain dirty in a good way.

    With the holiday last weekend the forum is a bit slow. We did start a thread for all you gardeners, “What Records Would You Want For Your Garden?”.

    Good record keeping is important to successful gardening. Most people don’t do it and they should. Come join us as we talk about what kind of record forms we might need, with the intention of offering the result for free download from the Green Wizard site before the season starts.

    And posted today, some observations on shortages you aren’t seeing discussed in the Media right now, “Rural vs Urban Supply Chains Issues”.

    Greer has written in the past that one of the things Empires do as they collapse is sacrifice the Hinderlands and outlying rural settlements to focus their depleting resources on the core cities and urban areas. It looks like this is happening now, just no one is talking about it. No eggs, no milk! Come share your observations of shortages in your area.

    As always all posts on Green Wizards are open to the public, though you’ll need a free account to comment. Contact me via email to set one up (green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com), or via Facebook Messenger.

    Best of luck in 2020.

  43. Happy New Year JMG, and commentariat, and thanks for another year of excellent writing, wisdom and insights. What purpose do you see disembodied “shards” as having in messing with human minds? (and I’m confident from my own occasional contacts that the messing is real!). Would it be just fun and jollies for them, or a broader purpose? In my evening meditation it occurred to me that “left-behind” beings might be hopeful that continuing techno progress could eventually enable humans to make closer contact with them in some way.

    And it does indeed seem that we’re about to relive a much worse version of the 1970s, but with the faint chance that we can make some better choices this time around. I just got a new copy of John Seymour’s “The Self-Sufficient Life” as a Christmas gift. My old one from 10 years ago is now falling apart, but it got me started on food gardening and I’m looking forward to focusing next year on some of the energy and resource saving and crafts projects. So many useful things to do. Thanks again.

  44. In your essay The Next Ten Billion Years, you write about at least 79 human global civilizations. Was that artistic license or have you learned something that led you to believe that there will be only seven major cycles of human civilization?

  45. @JMG (#42), as to the similarities between the myths of the Maori and of the Salish:

    It would be far stranger if there had been no prehistoric cultural contact at all between the East Coast of Asia and the Pacific Northwest of America.

    Even today, some Polynesian peoples know how to build very large ocean-going vessels and navigate them accurately across the vastness of the Pacific Ocean: the stars, the varying look and taste of the ocean water from one place to the next, the animal and plant life in each region, and so forth all are reliable “oceanmarks” (to riff off of “landmarks”) for travel. There is a very rich oral tradition in some island families of preciely how this sort of navigation is best done and what the actual “oceanmarks” are.

    Moreover, the Japan Current is almost like a fast-moving watery expressway from Asia to Northwest Amerca. Even an unskilled crew in a boat might be carried by that current from places on the coast Asia to the Pacific Northwest.


    Also, as for the reality of drowned cities, the tsunami of December 2004 briefly exposed parts of the “legendary” drowned city of Mahabalipuram in the Bay of Bengal.

    In modern times, in 1692 an earthquake caused much of the city of Port Royal (Jamaica) to sink beneath the sea, where its ruins remain even today.

    There are yet other legends of drowned cities here and there–Lyonesse, for one. It’s quite reasonable to suppose that most of them were actual cities at one time.

  46. Anne–one thing to remember about human menstrual cycle is that in most societies it would not have been monthly for most women. If women marry shortly after puberty and begin bearing children and nursing those children for 2-3 years, having a menstrual period will be a fairly rare event in a woman’s life. This could partly explain the taboos and restrictions surrounding the female cycle. I tend to take the “painless childbirth” theories with a grain of salt. There was a great tendency for Western intellectuals to romanticize the primitive. The assumed that tribal women just popped babies out with little problem–you know– like animals in tune with nature. Whatever was the current bete noir of the male professionals–unnatural diet, corsets, too much education–would be blamed for this falling away from the Edenic state.

  47. JMG, a while back I worked with a lawyer who was one of those people who seem to have been everywhere, met everybody and done everything. My boss called him Higgins after the character in the TV show Magnum PI. I called him Perfesser Balderdash.

    Anyway, Balderdash allegedly spent a good part of his youth in Malaysia. He said that because of intense sunlight and the warm, wet climate the soil was very fertile and so you could throw a handful of pumpkin seeds on the ground and in 30 days pumpkins would be taking over the world.

    Many years ago I read that an archeologist found some evidence of tuber cultivation in Indonesia going back 30,000 years. I can’t remember the nature of the evidence and I cannot for the life of me resurrect that paper on the internet and so I have no idea whether the whole notion was discredited or maybe simply not accepted as it didn’t fit generally accepted time frames for the development of agriculture.

    But I think it is true that daylight and warmth and water supply and precipitation are key factors in agricultural evolution and in agricultural productivity. I read that it takes a small fraction of the time to grow a tree in Georgia than it does in British Columbia and that it takes a much smaller plot of land to feed a cow in the southeast than in the more arid west.

    The point is the location of this Sundaland and its climate. Could it have developed agriculture before the usually accepted time of the last 10,000 years? Could there have been an advanced civilization supported by productive soil and skilled farmers? There’s a lot oft things that used to be considered impossible that you accepted as such if you valued your academic career.

    Clovis First was one of those things, that is, until one piece of evidence after another sunk the notion. Now they’re saying that 23,000 year old human footprints were found in Mexico. And they keep talking about evidence of humans in Brazil going back thousands of years before those footprints. And they’re saying that the Americas were likely settled down from Beringia by way of watercraft along the west coast during the ice age. All these things would have been career-stopping heresy 30 years ago. And they say that progress in science is measured one funeral at a time.

  48. JMG, are you sure that’s not an insult to honest drunken hamsters? After all, I doubt any hamster civilization has managed to change the world’s climate by burning all the fossil fuels.

  49. Jeff Russel,
    thanks for this. I’ve written a couple of them down to look into. The ‘War in Human Civilization’ one sounds especially interesting.

  50. Kat, er, did you read my post? I addressed that.

    Jim, I read them also, and yes, they were pretty dubious. On the other hand, they played a role in some very colorful weird tales back in the day!

    David T, thanks for this!

    Mark D, good question. Since their thinking makes no sense to us at all — that’s the “2 + 2 = petunia” effect I’ve mentioned before — we’ll probably never know.

    Justin, the notion of seven ages is a matter of occult tradition — I have no idea whether it’s accurate, or simply symbolic. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not just one civilization per age; we’ve had a couple of dozen already in this cycle, after all!

    Robert, that makes perfect sense, of course. Until the mid-20th century linguists used to talk about the Polynesian loanwords in some Northwest Coast native languages, though that’s become unpopular now.

    Roger, there seems to be quite some evidence that rather than field agriculture, human civilizations before the end of the last ice age depended on a kind of permaculture that made use of many edible plants and animals, some cultivated and others wild or semi-wild. There was still a lot of that in tropical Asia and the Americas until fairly recently — I think of the ways that Native American peoples used fire to maximize deer habitat and then hunted the deer, for example. It would be entirely plausible if Lemuria, cough, cough, Sundaland had been the original homeland of that sort of semiwild polyculture — you could likely produce an extremely robust food supply that way, after all. (And, ahem, I was arguing for the settlement of the Americas by boat from Beringia and northwest Asia some years ago in my book on Atlantis…)

    Pygmycory, fair enough. I apologize to the hard-drinking hamsters of the world. 😉

    Bei (offlist), if I wanted to field the usual sort of pseudoskeptic question-begging tirade I’d have invited Neil deGrasse Tyson to comment. In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t.

  51. @Pygmycory: You may want to try the Youtube podcast series, “Fall of Civilisations”. The discussion of ancient Sumer was very compelling. Relevant to this discussion, it talks about how linguistic evidence suggests that the ancient Sumerians may have originated in lands now submerged by the Persian Gulf. They had a mythic ancestor who was half-man, half-fish.

  52. JMG, fair enough. It makes sense to me that the demons were from outer space, because, based on what I’ve read on here, most souls who didn’t quite make the leap off this planet would continue reincarnating as “lower” forms of life, until humans came along for them to get another chance with.

  53. JMG,

    I have some off the wall questions: do you read alternative history books? If you read them what is your favorite?

    And finally, would you like to write one once? I think you have both the background and the imagination. I vividly remember your April 1st Atlantis post.

  54. JMG,
    you mentioned you use a coherentist approach.
    All I know about it is the definition I just read but there is a question that comes to mind.
    Given that history it’s not easily testable (in the scientific sense), how can we build good models (or coherent stories) of the past?
    Predictions for the future is one thing. What else do you use?

  55. JMG, you said you are optimistic about 2022.

    I have to say, I am going through a rough time not because of anything in my life but because I am reading about history and all the horrors described seem not only possible but very probable to happen again, and soon.

    Given that you studied history for so many years and you keep your balance and your spirit, I want to first thank you and then hope to read more of posts with history lessons and maybe reasons for hope?

  56. Rita
    I’m aware of the lackluster records of female health and presumptions made of it. These are being made about all cultures btw, European etc and not just indigenous. So on one hand it’s assumed that women were constantly pregnant and hence the lack of menstruations. At the same time European records of the last twenty five hundred years contain a large amount of writings about birth control via tinctures, barrier methods, abortions etc. Clearly they were menstruating and not wishing to be pregnant at all times.

    Our species has proportionally too short adult life span for the development time ( to reach maturity) when compared to other mammals. Some think a woman would menstruate just once a year if our species lived to an average age of many hundred years.
    Human life span varied greatly even in the last 300 years. Since the eighteenth century we tripled our life span on average. There’s many age indicators in the old testament and they are also varied, form thousand years olds, to stories like a woman being too old to have children at 50, or the Ethiopians saying that the “best” age is 120. Humans definitely stick out among other animals as it takes an unusual 1/3 of the total life span to actually reach maturity. I’m talking about very different humans, probably twenty thousand years ago. Just like JMG is saying, a completely different time.

    Steve and Pygmycory,
    There’s the joke that the cynical believe Cain was the only left standing, while optimists hope he slain Abel mainly for his harem.

    Very vibrant fringe archeology is happening in many fields and the main question these people are bringing up is “Humans had the exact same anatomy including brains for the last two hundred thousand years, yet for over hundred and ninety thousand years of that they did nothing besides roaming the savannah and in the only last six thousand years they’ve abandoned the steppe, subjugated the animals, build cities all over the globe and traveled outside of the globe. That just doesn’t make any sense!”

  57. Hmm… I do recall once asking you if the garden of eden story had any historical basis. Thank you for (partially) answering my question

    I have to say I’ve always had a hunch that the Garden of Eden story was based on something real, some real event. I am happy to say I’ve (largely) regained my sense of oneness with the cosmos. I can’t say the same for many of the people around me sadly. Though, my evolutionary task feels as though its to initiate people in the right direction… (through designing actual gardens!)

    Lemurian Mages opening portal’s to allow demons in… Any Warcraft franchise fans out there? This sounds very Familiar! 😉

  58. Since you brought up the story of the flood: When studying the bible as a kid I could not (and still can’t) get a straight answer as to why biblical characters who lived through the flood were said to have lived for hundreds of years. The excuse I always got was that those years were counted differently and were shorter, but this never made much sense for me. What is your take on this?

  59. I saw the hamster article too. Up till that moment, the idea of trying to get your hamster drunk never even occurred to me. What about the rest of you?

  60. Steve T’s theory explains original sin in a way the modern mind can easily grasp. Thanks, Steve!

  61. Great post JMG – thanks. It really does open up a Pandora’s Box (ahem) of questions though i.e. the notion that, simply put, at some point someone / something transgressed against a divine law, the consequences of which had negative repercussions. You could argue that this happens every day when a ‘sin’ is committed against a roll-call of religious prohibitions (although the knock-on effects of ‘carousing’ will be pretty limited.) So it’s really about the scale of the deed and its impact. Losing a direct apprehension of the divine is certainly a biggie.

    Taken at face value, the Lemurian myth raises a major red flag, namely that sophisticated and powerful magicians could f**k up so spectacularly. Unless it was intentional (oh, hi Cthulhu / Kenneth Grant.)

    It’s intoxicating to know that we still live in mythic time and can contribute to its unfolding, but by the same token, Ragnarok hasn’t happened yet. Will we learn from our mistakes through spiritual evolution, or will our over-weaning lead to a second ‘Lemurian apocalypse’?

    To paraphrase Homer Simpson: magick: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

  62. Thank you for this essay. Whatever happened long ago, about which we have only hints, still has practical implications today. And the questions this raises for me are mostly of the practical kind.

    This paragraph addresses the practical side to a great extent:

    “The workings of the Lemurian mages changed that, opening a nexus by which we could contact them and they could contact us. That nexus endures to this day, and will endure as long as our species exists. It’s a permanent part of our collective karma as a species. Before the Lemurian age, we could ignore the demons. Now we can only overcome their influence, or fail to do so. Since the nexus endures and works in both directions, when we overcome their influence, we complete part of our work and bring them closer to their own eventual redemption. When we submit to them, or try to control and manipulate them as the Lemurian mages did, we sink a little closer to their level, and make our own evolution as well as theirs more difficult than it would otherwise be.”

    Whatever was done “opened a nexus” making contact and communication possible. (And at the same time making some other forms of contact and communication with the rest of our kin manifesting on this earth with us, much more difficult). It is our job to overcome the influence of these unfinished beings, which we cannot now prevent ourselves from “hearing” or being exposed to, due to whatever nexus was opened.

    What are our greatest strengths in this task, and on the other hand, what are their greatest weaknesses?

    Are there specific ways in which we can assist one another, and specifically cultivate such strengths as we have, in one another?

    Am I correct in thinking that many of the practical answers to this work lies in the distinction that has been drawn in other posts, between “participation” and “control”?

  63. Another term that could be applied to this event, if it indeed happened, is The Birth of Fear, as that pervasive sense of fear, which is at the root of most violence, seems to have been a consequence of the feeling of separation.

    Once humans no longer had any sense of connection between themselves and the whole, this allowed fear to emerge as the preponderant human emotion. Fear would have been the hook that these demons needed to attach themselves to individual humans, so tricking humanity into atomising itself would have been their first and most necessary action. Once we are separated we feel fear, and fear makes us crave power, and the craving for power encourages further interaction with demons. and that interaction with demons allows them to run riot.

    On the other hand this does present the potential means to overcome (and maybe even fix!) this deviation – we collectively need to eliminate fear.

  64. “Ah well, that’s this world over
    Ah well, next one begins

    Will you smile like any mother
    As you bathe your brand new twins?
    Will you sing about the missiles
    As you dry odd-numbered limbs?

    Ah well, that’s this world over
    Ah well, next one begins
    Ah well, that’s this world over
    You sadly grin

    Will you tell them about that far off and mythical land
    About their leader with the famous face?
    Will you tell them that the reason nothing ever grows
    In the garden anymore
    Because he wanted to win the craziest race?
    That’s this world over

    Will you smile like any father
    With your children on a Sunday hike?
    When you get to a sea of rubble
    And they ask “What was London like?”

    You tell them, “Ah well, that’s the world over”

    Will you tell them about that far off and mythical land
    And how a child to the virgin came?
    Will you tell them that the reason why we murdered
    Everything upon the surface of the world
    So we can stand right up and say we did it in his name?

    That’s this world over
    Or so it seems
    That’s this world over
    The end of dreams.

    That’s this world over, over, over and out.” – XTC

    You can prayer walk those damaged areas and heal them. Some people do, but it’s not to be trifled with.

    It’s sensible that if you want to be and behave as a demon, you would eventually pass over to live with them. However, a truly demonic environment would never suit a human/former human, regardless of how demonic they tried to be.

    What can you do? If they want to go there, should you stop them? Should you do more than warn them in the strongest terms that the home of demons is unpleasant and harmful? Should we not allow them to pursue the goals and interests they have?

    For extraordinarily, impossibly ancient texts, first half of the Kolbrin Bible, which are allegedly fragments salvaged from the Library of Alexandria. This includes Gilgamesh, but also the Pharaohs, and the second half are the stories of England, which including confirmable names from Bodacia and such, including descriptions of other known sea-travelers like the Spartans. But if you’re aiming for the oldest stories remaining on the surface of the earth, those are some. And they have at least one alternative take on differing early peoples and the fall of man.

    Science may progress one funeral at a time, but the funeral is not supposed to be mine.

  65. As for L Ron Hubbard, I was friends with the well known sci-fi fan favorite author Wilson “Bob” Tucker before he died. He had an interesting story about Hubbard. Apparently Bob, Hubbard and some of the other pulp fiction writers had a regular poker game that went on during their early days as writers. Tucker claims that at one such game they got into a discussion on how best to take over the world. After everyone threw out a variety of typical sci-fi related methods, Hubbard said “I’d just start a religion”.

    Several years later he published “Scientology”. I’ll leave it to others to think whether he was putting his plan into action or not.

  66. Hamsters can really handle their booze.

    “Hamsters don’t just tolerate alcohol, though; they prefer it to water—And they can drink a lot before getting drunk.”

    “You just put a bottle of unsweetened Everclear on the cage and they love it, They regularly down 18 grams per kilogram of body weight a day, the alcoholic equivalent of a human drinking a liter and a half of 190-proof Everclear.”

  67. Hello John MIchael,

    Our bookshelf has a “Chinese Myths” graphic storybook that adds to this discussion (Rob Shone, 2006 Salariya Book Company Limited). The tale is “Nu Wa Makes People and Mends a Hole in the Sky”.

    Nu Wa is a creation goddess (also known as Mixi), half woman with a serpent tail . She was happy with the people she had made from Yellow River mud, but later “A war between demons raged in the world. In the demon’s war, the Four Great PIllars holding up the sky were shattered. They had been built at the beginning of time, by the giant, Pan Gu. They kept heaven and earth apart.” Darkness poured through a hole in the sky, volcanoes erupted, flood waters rose.

    Nu Wa aided the suffering people. “First, she propped up the heavens using the four legs of a giant turtle. Then she set fire to bundles of reeds. With these ashes, she dammed the flood waters.” She melted five colored stones and cast up the molten rock to fill the hole in the sky. Seeing her people were safe, she laid down and became a vast mountain range.

    These stories are like pieces of a puzzle we can never solve, but the picture is too intriguing to ignore. Thank you for this forum.

    Live from Tidal Reach,
    Crimson Raving Salamander

  68. Good day to you JMG et al. I thoroughly enjoyed this consideration of our collective past, and it struck my barely-schooled astrological nerve that with Jupiter entering Pisces a few days ago, heading for a conjunction with Neptune in May, we could well find this topic gain momentum.

    I recently read (esoteric astrology source, I think) of a war that may have taken place between the remnant of Lemuria’s civilisation, and rising Atlantis. There would have been a gap in time between the apices of their glory, but could such a war have taken place in your view? From your article I thought of it as a showdown between science and magic that was never resolved, and still haunts our roots.

    Wishing you all well!

  69. Thanks JMG for the reference to Dr Ian Stevenson re reincarnation.

    The objection that no “physical mechanism” is known by which a mind could persist through the gap from one life to another reminds me of the disbelief in Wegener’s continental drift theory – i.e. no physical mechanism was then known that could explain how the continents could have moved (plate tectonics and sea-floor spreading not being yet known in 1915). Scientists don’t like admitting something happens if they can’t say how. At least, usually that’s so. Oddly, it seems to have been less the case with Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, which utterly depends upon the idea of a genetic code as transmission mechanism despite the fact that (from what I gather) genetics didn’t yet exist as a science in Darwin’s day. Darwin must simply have had faith (ironic though that sounds) that it must happen somehow…that changes must get passed on whole rather than be diluted by repeated halving from one generation to the next.

    Anyhow, in my view the idea that disembodied souls persist in some kind of equivalent of a waiting-room between one life and another is naive. If reincarnation happens, I expect it’s a case of separate manifestations out of eternity and into sequential time. At any rate it’s the only way I can imagine it.

  70. Thank you very much for this essay. Very interesting.

    Partly it reminds me of the presentations of Jordan Peterson about the Adam & Eve story. He gives a somewhat similar interpretation of the myth without occult references. If I recall correctly, his reasoning is mostly biological or evolutionary. The main idea is that the Fall story is an allegory for the development of human consciousness. Consciousness emerged from the experience of the danger posed by reptilian predators (hence the role of the snake). This danger was more severe for women with vulnerable children, therefore they were the first adopters (Eve bites the apple first). The eventual consequences:
    1. Adam must work: Human beings but especially men are bound to continuous conscious discipline, sacrifices and careful planning for the purpose of a better future. And when they fail to do these things, women will always be there to make them self-aware, roughly if necessary.
    2. It is very painful for Eve to give birth: The conscious mind is in close connection with the relatively large size of the human brain. The birth and raising of human children a very narrow compromise between the head size of new-born babies (that is larger than the equivalent for most mammals as it is) and the women’s necessity of daily survival (their hips cannot be wider without ruining the ability to run). The result is the danger and suffering of child-birth but also the fact that new-born human children are relatively under-developed. They need long months and years of constant and unconditional care, most what falls on their mothers.

    I hope my recollection is right. The spirit of this analysis seems to be similar to your narrative although the emphasis is certainly different.

  71. I can almost hear the tale being spun by a storyteller around a campfire many years from now…

    “The Uralians believed they possessed limitless power, and that hubris was their undoing. To test the extent of their abilities, they tried creating monsters strong enough to escape even their control. In the end, they succeeded. The monster destroyed their hearts, and in the great cities a terrible silence descended…”

    Perhaps that’s the final irony of Faustianism — it will indeed achieve mythic status, just not for the reasons its adherents expected

  72. SiliconGuy #42: I researched the Black Sea Deluge a bit, and I’m fairly convinced that a sudden influx of salt water combined with an enormous surge after the straits broke inspired a lot of regional flood legends.

  73. @Roger #52

    While I’m skeptical that large scale agriculture existed prior to 8000 BC, largely due to the
    lack of draft animals, gardening is another matter. Early humans being keen observers of their
    environment would have quickly caught on to seeds turning into edible plants and took advantage
    of that. The planting of tubers, herbs and greens, nurturing of groves of fruit or nut trees
    would have arisen quickly and being low scale would not have required draft animals or the use
    of complex agricultural tools. My suspicion is that this went on for at least 200,000 years or more.
    The environment was so rich and fertile at that time, this could have supported quite a large

    But something changed drastically around 10000 years ago or so. Sudden climate change, rising sea levels
    and shifting ecosystems made the usual hunter/gathering/gardening lifestyle problematic in some
    areas which is when the domestication of large animals and grain crops took off. It didn’t happen everywhere
    as the traditional lifestyle hung on for quite a long time. But as the new agricultural societies
    consolidated in power and their numbers boomed, they began shoving the old societies further and
    further to the peripheries. It took time for the downside of heavy agriculture to show up: loss of
    soil fertility, salination, deforestation and so forth, but by then city cultures were committed
    to this way of life and couldn’t backpedal, at least not willingly. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  74. JMG,

    I don’t have anything insightful to add, but wanted to thank you for this post. Something has been tickling my brain, but I haven’t been able “see” it enough to even come up with meditation themes. Your post and the commentariat’s comments! have given me several themes that I think will help me hone in on the insight knocking on my brain.

    And, to you and the commentariat, wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  75. JMG,

    You wrote in response to Roger:

    „Roger, there seems to be quite some evidence that rather than field agriculture, human civilizations before the end of the last ice age depended on a kind of permaculture that made use of many edible plants and animals, some cultivated and others wild or semi-wild.“

    Would you (or anybody else!) happen to know some good references where I could read more about this ancient permanent-/polyculture?

    I‘m particularly interested in references to Europe or other moderate climate zones, but if there is some good general literature, that would be great, too.



  76. Dear Mr. Greer, Thank you for your exellent posts and the way you provided me with a lot of insights. In your last post about Lemurie I missed the views of Rudolf Steiner. Steiner gives a beautiful idea of the development of the planetary evolution. Is there a reason why you not include his idea’s?

  77. JMG,

    One Cabalistic theory I’ve read is that the previous universe itself was somehow distorted and out of balance – an experiment that went wrong, perhaps with too much Judgment, too little Mercy – thus all beings who inhabited the previous universe were by nature distorted. In this sense, the Qlippoth weren’t entirely responsible for their debasement, which of course doesn’t make them any less inimical to humans. And it surely doesn’t excuse the Lemurian mages for creating the interface they did.

    If there was a previous experimental universe that went wrong and had to be terminated, I can imagine that many sentient beings in solar systems throughout our universe also have to struggle against their own particular array of Qlippoth.

    Interesting that God and the Divine forces could possibly “make mistakes” in the process of Creation.

  78. I was pondering Deep Time. Because of my brain injury, I end up zipping through time and need to ground myself in the now. I do end up zipping back to Deep Time, but I rarely discuss it in public since well ….. lest people think I am crazy.

    I wonder if the Fall of Civilization could be something else, since the earth has had several mass extinctions – the worst being the Permian. Since life has a way of surviving and adapting, could these memories be these Deep Ancestors? Perhaps in a past life, I was a Trilobite, and remember the end when it came for that species. Or perhaps, I was a disaster taxa that bridged the gap between the extinction and the new life. Maybe, we just remember what is in our genes.

    I don’t know whether Lemuria or Atlantis actually existed as people say they did. Perhaps they are ancestral memories of our ancestors.

  79. Greetings ADJMG,

    Could you address in Buddhist myth there is also a snake and a tree (along with something similar to the temptations of Christ), but the snake and tree are presented in a positive light.

  80. Sorry, Please ignore the first post: accidentally sent too early).

    SiliconGuy #42: I have done some research on the Black Sea Deluge and am pretty certain it was the basis of many regional flood stories. The Black Sea was actually a freshwater lake before the influx of saline water after the straits broke. If they broke suddenly — and there is solid geological evidence they did — the SMALLEST surge scientists would expect is 5 to 10 meters, while the largest estimates the surge would be 30 to 80 meters.

    To put that in perspective, the surge that leveled New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina was 5 meters. The 2004 Indonesia tsunami hit Aceh with waves of 24 to 30 meters.

    I noticed that the estimated times of the Black Sea Deluge also coincide with the approximate end of work on the Gobleki Tepe site (9,000 years BP or thereabouts), and discovered that contemporaneous carvings similar to the Gobleki Tepe statues have been found as far north as Syria. You can’t carve monuments like that without political control of the area — nobody worries about making statues when they’re regularly fending off raids — so I strongly suspect that there was either an empire or a loose confederation of ethnically and linguistically diverse but culturally united groups.

    I’m imagining a Neolithic culture living along the coast of the freshwater lake that became the brackish Black Sea, traveling along the coast on rafts carrying trade items to the Eastern Anatolian coastline. Civilizations tend to develop near bodies of water, and people skilled enough to build monuments would certainly know the value of navigable water and how much easier it is to move large quantities on water vs land.

    One day, out of a clear blue sky, that civilization gets hit with a surge that was anywhere between 5 and 80 meters high. That would be catastrophic even in a best case scenario, certainly catastrophic enough to work a whammy on any trade networks that might have developed. And I’m pretty sure that the survivors would tell stories about what happened, and would expect that in time they would become the flood myths we see in the Levant and southeastern Europe. And given that the Phoenicians, Greeks, etc. were all pretty big trading cultures given to building colonies all over Europe and North Africa, I’d also expect those myths to turn up there. Especially if that flood was the beginning of the end of a stable proto-empire that sent people scattering around the region as their world came to a crashing end.

  81. @Phil Knight #71 (If I may)

    What you say makes a great deal of sense.

    “Once we are separated we feel fear, and fear makes us crave power…”

    I wonder I might suggest one or two more “steps” in this tragic unfoldment – “Once we are separated we feel fear, and fear makes us crave [security and connection, and thus, as the – apparent – means to achieve these] power…”

  82. “… resulted in some of the stranger essays I’ve published here.” Yes, they may be strange, but they’re always so extremely interesting and insightful. Thanks for this! And a happy New Yesr to you, Sara, and all my fellow readers!

  83. @ Rita Rippetoe (replying to Anne)

    To assume (without enquiring further, in relation to differences between “here” and “there”, “this time” and “that time”) that women in an undifferentiated “most societies” had no idea how to space, or to limit, their births, may be as unsound as assuming that tribal women just “popped babies out” like “animals”…

    Consider… if menstruation was that rare an event in a woman’s life, and if women’s lives were always and everywhere “brutish and short”, why would our species have evolved menopause? – ie a deliberate shutting down and dismantling of our reproductive capacity that operates quite separately to the overall shutting down and dismantling of our organisms as a whole?

  84. @ Phil Knight #71, on fear.

    If the human sense of fear is a product of a past incident of separation from totality, how do we account for the fear expressed in animals?

    All creatures, especially “prey” animals such as rabbits, horses, cattle, birds, etc have outward expressions of fear — dilation or constriction of pupils and surface blood vessels, rapid heart rate, loss of fine motor skills, and efforts to remove themselves from the inducing situation. Predatory animals, such as our dog and cat housepets, also express fear — the rise of hair on a dog’s back, snarling, barking; the cat’s arching of back, puffing up, hissing, snarling. All wild animals avoid situations that could be damaging to their physical self, the “survival” behavior which looks and acts like fear. We cannot know what is going on the the creatures’ minds, but their physiology behaves in the same way human physiology does when humans are in fear.

    Surely, these creatures have not separated from the totality of their being.

    Perhaps “fear” isn’t always a bad thing or spiritually negative consequence. Sometimes fear = physical survival. A more nuanced approach might distinguish healthy life-promoting fear from unhealthy life-destroying fear.

  85. Tidlösa #23:

    “Why did the mages contact the demons? A mistake? To tap their power? Unknown reasons?”

    They wanted to discuss the demon’s expiring auto warranties…… 🙂

  86. @Milkyway #83
    There are fragments of information about polyculture systems all over. The Roman writers Varro and Collumella mention earlier systems, overtaken by estate farming with slaves. K. D. White’s book on Roman farming has a good discussion of the beinnings of Roman agriculture.

    Farmers of 40 Centuries by F.H. King is a book length photoessay of his trip through China, Korea and Japan at the beginning of the 20th century. He was excited by the way that the old traditions were still in use.

    Various popular and scholarly articles about South American agriculture systems are revealing lost systems of cultivation from another cradle of civilization.

    All these systems are tuned to place. The Romans practiced transhumanence, where the cattle were taken up to mountain pastures for the summer, because they didn’t get enough rain. The Polynesians divided the land on islands into strips from the high center to the sea, so that every group could get the different zones of production. The Pacific Northwest tribes were labeled as the only sedentary hunter-gatherers in North America, because the Europeans did not recognize thier camas prairies and clam beds as farming.

    We have gone from not recognizing horticulture (pre-conquest Amazonia, Australia, Pacific NW, Bill Mollison’s visit to a centuries old Morroccan permaculture garden) to there being quite a bit of information, if you dig for it.

  87. Jasper @72 The Spartans were “known sea travelers”?? Your source must surely have meant Minoans or the later Phoenicians. Sparta, with the help of Persian subsidies, had to build itself a navy in order to win the Peloponnesian War.

    According to historians who have studied ancient Sumer, each city state belonged to a particular deity. Inanna for example owned Uruk. Archeologists have discovered myths about how Inanna went to either the sea or the sacred city Eridu, which was located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, and brought back the various arts of civilization to her subjects. So, maybe different groups of farmers, when they established a new community, placed themselves under the protection of various benign, or so they hoped, entities.

    What I am wondering is would contact with malevolent beings have anything to do with the introduction (into the western world, I can’t say about East Asia) of the practice of blood sacrifice? There are some practical reasons for the practice, such keeping workers and fighting men well fed, culling the flocks so as not to overgraze available pasture, and providing herdsmen a bit of income and prestige. Christians are admonished in the New Testament, Letter to the Hebrews, that animal sacrifice must cease. Which is why they refused to make the usual pro forma sacrifices to the Roman gods.

  88. Justin, if they’d already reached something corresponding to the human level, they wouldn’t necessarily drop back down to a less complex stage; still, the outer-space theory has its points.

    NomadicBeer, I’m not a great fan; most of them seem rather dull to me, though I liked The Difference Engine. I might do one someday, but I’d have to find some turning point that was quirky enough to hold my interest. As far as a coherentist image of the past, that’s simple — does it match up to other sources of information? If someone claims, for example, that the Lemurians powered their civilization with petroleum, that doesn’t cohere with the fact that there was still plenty of petroleum in shallow wells when we got around to it. Finally, in terms of reasons for hope, I’ll be getting to a few of those next week…

    BB, well, I’m not sure if it’s a historical basis or not, but that’s what the traditions say.

    Bakbook, that’s a very odd feature of a lot of ancient accounts: the earliest Egyptian and Mesopotamian king lists, as I recall, have monarchs living for improbable lifespans. I’ve never known what to make of it.

    Mark, one of the reasons that old-fashioned occultists used to keep their teachings secret is precisely that you can screw up monumentally with magic, on a personal or more than personal level. The Western occult tradition went more or less public in the 19th and 20th centuries for reasons of sheer survival — it was that or lose everything, either in the era of arrogant rationalism or in the shalestorm that’s building around us right now — but there’s a bitter downside to that. What each practitioner does here and now can help decide whether the upside outweighs the downside, or vice versa.

    Scotlyn, those are good questions for which there are no simple answers. Spiritual evolution doesn’t follow a linear path — each soul develops its own potentials in unique ways — so your strengths and weaknesses aren’t the same as mine, nor is the help that you can give person A anything like the help that I can give person B. The distinction between participation and control is crucial — you could as well phrase it in Buber’s language as a distinction between I-you and I-it relationships — but even that will be encountered by each person in a distinct series of ways.

    Phil K, I’m going to quibble with you here. It’s always tempting to identify one aspect of human experience as The Problem and then insist that getting rid of that will fix everything; the Victorians tried to do it with lust, the liberals of an earlier generation tried to do it with hate, and some thinkers these days have fallen into the same habit towards fear. Fear as such is just one emotional state among many, and in its proper place — like lust and hate! — it’s appropriate and healthy. Of course it becomes disastrous when it spins out of control, but the same is true of every emotional state. You cannot achieve wholeness through mutilation — and getting rid of fear would be just as much a mutilation of the wholeness of human experience as getting rid of any other emotion. (It also won’t work, and would inevitably result in an explosive return of the repressed, but that’s another matter.)

    Jasper, if you leave your own funeral out of the picture, you’re missing an important detail!

    David, I once heard Frederick Pohl tell a similar story. The tale goes that at a WorldCon in the late 1940s, Pohl and Hubbard were sitting in the hotel bar on Sunday morning, nursing hangovers and downing quite a bit of hair o’ the dog. Hubbard was bemoaning the fact that his writing career was going nowhere. Pohl, who had gotten tolerably well lubricated by then, and had just finished reading Sinclair Lewis’ fine satirical piece Elmer Gantry — a novel about a corrupt evangelist — said, “Why don’t you go into religion? I hear that’s a great racket.” Hubbard stared at him, mouth open, for a long moment. “Uh, Ron, that was a joke,” Pohl said, and Hubbard immediately changed the subject. A couple of years later, Dianetics saw print…

    JustMe, okay, I’m impressed.

    Chris, fascinating. Chinese culture is old enough that its myths would be particularly worth close study.

    Brazzart, according to everything I was taught, Lemuria was long gone before Atlantean civilization began to rise, but there were substantial Lemurian refugee communities over large sections of the Old World — in particular, Africa, southern India, and Australia were said to have very strong Lemurian cultural influences — and so some element of conflict between those and the rising Atlantean civilizations, spread out over many thousands of years, doubtless happened. As for a showdown between magic and science, though, the Atlanteans were deep into magic as well — their magic was of a very different kind from the Lemurian variety, and focused on the use and exploitation of sexual/polarity energies — and their science was subordinate to magic, though it apparently reached a fairly high level.

    Robert, an excellent example! In fact, though most rationalists would sooner devolve to apehood on the spot than admit it, Darwinian evolution was rejected out of hand by a great many scientists precisely because the science of the time didn’t provide an adequate mechanism for genetic transmission of individual traits, and it also didn’t provide an adequate mechanism for the Sun to last long enough for species to evolve through natural selection. The Darwinists had faith, and their faith was rewarded. As for reincarnation, though, if souls persist, then it makes perfect sense that they aren’t unique in their mode of existence — that an entire soul-world exists, of which souls are a part, and from which they descend into physical bodies from time to time. The soul-world isn’t a waiting room, it’s a realm of existence even more intricately structured and busy than the material world — as CS Lewis says somewhere, it’s one of the odder delusions of our era that spirit is thought of as vague and formless, for in fact spirit is far more exact and full of precise form than sloppy, muddled matter can ever be!

    Sleiszadam, Peterson’s using the same myth to craft a rather different metaphor. I’m far from sure, for what it’s worth, that reptiles were that big a threat to early protohumans — much less so, certainly, than big cats and canids!

    Florida, history loves ironies like those.

    Karma, you’re welcome!

    Milkyway, it’s been a long time. The one book I recall is Colin Tudge’s Neanderthals, Bandits, and Farmers, but I’m quite sure I read others as well.

    Gerwim, I referenced some of his ideas — did you miss the comments about fire-mist and imaginative consciousness, or the reference to occultists who weren’t sufficiently cautious about the factual nature of their visionary experience?

    Will, that’s certainly one theory, and it’s worth considering.

    Neptunesdolphins, and that’s also a possibility!

    Dashui, there are lots of snakes and lots of trees in the world’s mythologies; some are given a positive spin, some a negative spin, some a neutral spin. Buddhism, which of course was founded as a deliberate rejection of older religious traditions, rejects the idea that suffering had a beginning, so it didn’t play a role in preserving the knowledge we’re talking about.

    Chronojourner, thank you and likewise!

    NBerinKS, I haven’t given out a gold star in a long time, but that just earned one. Hah!

  89. @JMG and @Sleiszadam regarding #96 and #78 – on Peterson and the Adam and Eve myth

    To be fair, I believe Peterson characterizes the threat of snakes likely being evolutionary baggage held over from earlier tree-dwelling primates: as you say, by the time our ancestors came out of the trees and reached great ape sizes, snakes were likely not as big a threat anymore, but the fear/revulsion of them was still buried deep in our minds. He’s basing some of this on Lynne Isabel’s “Snake Detection Theory”, which argues that one of the drivers for primates’ acute color vision is the ability to spot poisonous snakes. Another interesting angle on this thread of looking at the myth is “An Instinct for Dragons” by David E. Jones, which I learned about through Peterson. Basically, Jones argues that big cats, snakes, predatory birds, and fires posed the greatest threats to our primate forebearers (obviously to differing levels at different stages), and that humans have amalgamated all those deep, deep fears into a fire-snake-bird-cat as the ultimate manifestation of the outside world trying to get you.

    What strikes me as possibly more relevant to the traditions discussed in this post, though, is his analysis of the linkage between the Knowledge of Good and Evil, shame at nakedness, and the Fall. Peterson argues that shame of nakedness shows an understanding of vulnerability, and that once you are aware of the fact that you can be hurt, you realize that you can hurt others the same way, opening the door to evil. Reflecting on it now as I’m writing this comment, it strikes me that seeing others as genuinely separate, not as a differently individuated portion of the same whole you are a part of, is also a precondition for evil – if you noticed vulnerability in someone you identified as part of the same whole as you, you’d feel motivated to help, not to exploit it. Perhaps the stress on familial relationships in Christianity is an attempt to restore some sense of this linkedness.

  90. I think the Dine (or Navajo) also put us in the fifth world.

    Considering the old stories and more recent history, I’d guess it was plain old human curiousity that triggered contact with the demons. See Gain of Function research for just one recent example.

    Or everyone saying “I vote for the Lemurian Deviation for 5th Wednesday!”

    Curiousity. Pursuit of knowledge. That’s humans’ driving trait. Whether scientific or philosophical or theological or occult . . . well, look around this blog: we’re here because we want to know.

  91. Yes, the part about reptilian predators in my summary of Peterson’s take feels a bit weak but it is probably my fault. Peterson himself has a whole lecture about dragon and snake symbolism, so it is certainly not that simple. 🙂 I remember something like ancient primate instincts about snakes that remain from the tree-dwelling past. Anyway, the essential part to me is that the myth has a message about the human condition even if it is not literally true.

    I look forward to the next essay about hopeful points. The “loss of center” pattern is very intense around me in very many ways (politically, culturally, intellectually, emotionally, etc.). This post helps to understand that I must face this predicament but any encouragement is welcome.

  92. Also, regarding your comment to Mark about magic being a great way to screw yourself up…

    I was reading Proclus’s Commentaries on the Republic this morning, having received it as a Christmas gift this year. In the Republic, the virtue of Justice in an individual means having a properly ordered soul, each component doing what it ought to do, the whole subordinated to the nous. But Proclus suggests that the most unjust person imaginable is actually, potentially *far less evil* than a person who has attained a fairly high level of Justice, but still mixes Justice with Injustice. This is because Injustice is entirely weak, and reliant upon Justice in order to accomplish anything at all.

    We can understand this if we compare two different sorts of Unjust people. One is a junkie; he lives in a tent, steals when he can, and otherwise panhandles to get by. He’s a nuisance and a danger, but capable of far, far less evil than someone like, say, Joseph Stalin. The reason is that the junkie’s soul has no unity; he is at war with himself and enslaved to his desires. A figure like Stalin has his whole soul more or less united… and directed toward an evil and unjust end. He thus accomplishes far greater evil than a far more unjust individual!

    The path of Western Ceremonial Magic, in my experience, is literally the path of Justice as Plato would have understood it– an alchemical process through which the components of the chaotic, uninitiated soul are taken apart and put back together again in a rightly ordered fashion, in service to the soul’s higher purpose. When this process is underway but incomplete, the soul still admits of a mixture of good and evil… but it doesn’t take very long on the magical path before you start to gain power. And I can say from personal and painful experience that the temptation to use that power in service of the passions is real, and that to succumb to it can result in everything from burnt fingers to your very own personal lifelong Lemurian Deviation.

  93. Do you remember any past lives from previous time periods? Civilizations? Dark ages? Would be fairly interesting.


  94. Hi John Michael,

    Yeah, that’s a great insight about the economic conditions of the 1970’s. Yes, everything old is new again and stagflation is the word that you heard. Civilisation never did resolve the predicament of how to deal with decline – and the outcome was baked into the cake once we decided to use finite fossil fuels in order to gain an advantage. It’s kind of awful because, nature has some pretty harsh ways of resolving the rarely thought of matter. Good grace to face the music is the best course, but I reckon most people will charge ahead looking for scapegoats. I do hope that nobody blames goats though, lovely creatures. 🙂 Goats being long domesticated are possibly less grumpy than an annoyed wombat (just trying to work in a wombat reference here 🙂 ).

    Hey, I was thinking further about the triangulation of: unemployment; inflation; and asset prices – and came up with the further thought: “pick any two”. I kind of ripped it off the old engineers adage: Good; Fast; or Cheap – pick any two. But it kind of works too.

    The spinning of the presses only ever serves the interests of the already wealthy by increasing asset prices, but as a side benefit it also reduces unemployment. The pressure is felt in inflation (and I believe that increasing asset prices is inflation, despite the spurious arguments trying to pretend that it is otherwise). And sooner or later the pressure to tackle inflation will become too great for the policy makers to ignore, and then pop goes the weasel and down will tumble fortunes. The longer the show goes on, the worse the pop will be. And oil is almost back to where it used to be before the recent ‘moronic’ magical intervention. We’ve spoken about thaumaturgy, and you’d think that the people pulling those heavy levers would take a look at history and say to themselves: It’s a bad idea, but no. They’re smart people, but perhaps common sense is somewhat lacking?



  95. Comets.

    Back in the day, so much water was tied up in ice sheets that the sea level was far lower. Some put the largest extent of Sundaland as the whole South China Sea, so a person could walk from Fujian to Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines as well as Malaysia and Indonesia. The edge of the continent is marked by the Wallace line. East of the Wallance line, the flora and fauna belong to a bygone world. West of it was once dry land.

    Seems that 30,000 – 20,000 years ago, the inner solar system entrained a big comet. This used to be a fringe nutcase idea and has become mainstream just in the last few years. The comet broke apart and smeared out along the orbital path. Fortunately, most of the big pieces have already hit us. Comet Enke is a remnant. Comets used to be a harbringer of disaster.

    The start of the Younger Dryas and tipping point for the disappearance of the Pleistocene megafauna has been tied to a comet hitting the North American ice sheet around 12,900 years ago. The ice age that ended 20,000 years ago ended with a series of meltwater pulses. It is too much energy pumped into the system in too short a time to be explained by mere melting. If actual science survives a while longer, we may yet find the fingerprints of those earlier comet impacts. Lemuria was doomed, as was the unfortunate city in Syria that suffered a direct hit in 1600 BCE.

    After the ice melted, isostatic rebound pushed up central Sweden and drowned the seamounts located exactly where Plato said Atlantis was submerged. We are still dealing with the geological consequences of the comet smacking us repeartedly.

  96. @Jeff Russell #97:

    Thank you for the elaboration about snakes. You are also right that the connection to malevolence is relevant here. My summary was incomplete.

  97. NBerinKS at 93, and Archdruid JMG and others:

    Have you been getting these robocalls to your phone, a taped message saying something like: “This is a courtesy call we are giving you to inform you that your vehicle warranty is about to expire. Please Press 1 to talk to our representative, or 2 to be put on the no-call list.”

    I have had at least a hundred of these in about the past three months, most on my landline, but a few on the old flip-top cell phone.

    I can’t quite figure it out. My first idea was that this must be a scam of some kind but there was no attempt to extract relevant information from me. The tape doesn’t identify who “we” are, and pressing 1 to talk to the representative yields nothing but a dead telephone. Same when I press 2.

    So if its not a scam, what could it be. Seems rather pointless for whoever went to the trouble to put this out there.

    And the irony is that I have never owned a motor vehicle of any type.

    Antoinetta III

  98. Mr. Greer,

    Do you have any insight as to when the sixth cycle will begin? Like, would you say the events of Star’s Reach take place in the sixth cycle? Or is the next cycle still thousands of years in the future?

    Also, when one age ends and another begins, is it like Frodo casting the Ring into Mt. Doom to start the Fourth Age, or is it more gradual?

    Additionally, could you please direct me to where I can learn more about the Polarian and Hyperborean ages? Google just keeps showing me results for Robert E. Howard.

    I loved your book on Atlantis, by the way. And just recently bought a copy of the “Next Ten Billion Years” graphic novel. It was great.


  99. Kfish,
    I watched that last week, and it is part of what triggered this question!

    That series is pretty good.

  100. I wonder if we’ve experienced another Fall or alteration in consciousness, since a nexus was opened to the realm of the gods of the prophetic revealed religions? This contact seems to have profoundly affected human consciousness of the inner realms & of other beings, gods of nature, nature spirits, etc. After a period of demonization, where these aspects of reality were rejected & viewed as the realms of devils, this influence seems to have caused a flattened consciousness of the world, aware of only its surface appearance, lacking all sense of life & divinity. This Great Flattening also seems to have affected people’s ability to think in mythic and symbolic terms. The mythologies pushed by the messengers of these divine beings seems to devalue the world as a flawed & unensouled creation, to denumenize it, & to draw worship & reverence away from it – it will soon be destroyed by a messiah, they say, and a perfect one will replace it.

    Josh Rout

  101. This post has the feel of a parting shot to me. Hopefully that’s just your normal January time off!

    Really interesting stuff. I hope you tell more of these sorts of tales soon.

    Question: Do most souls do their human maturation within a major historical cycle like the “Lemurian” or “Atlantean,” or do they take longer than that?

    Many thanks!

  102. Robert Gibson (no. 77), the lack of any known mechanism for continuity is one issue (with reincarnation), but another has to do with the problem of identity. Suppose I begin experiencing memories associated with Elvis Presley. I *might* conclude that I am the reincarnation of Elvis, but I might just as easily conclude that I am psychically communicating with Elvis’s ghost, or being psychically invaded by Elvis from across time, or some such. Even if the mechanism for our connection is discovered, this would still not tell me how to interpret my relationship with Elvis. In fact, some Middle Eastern groups do speak of the “return” of past culture-heroes (like the Fourteen Infallibles) as recurring archetypes, like the “same” flowers which appear every spring. In this model, there might even be multiple “incarnations” of the same person (we know that there are many Elvises!), or the same person might embody multiple culture-heroes.


    Jeanne (no. 81), this was the main point of Daniel Quinn’s books. Quinn saw cultures practicing mass agriculture (basically all modern civilizations) as a single super-culture (“Taker” culture, in contrast to aboriginal / indigenous “Leavers”–think “Take it or leave it”) which cannot help but expand through population growth. (More food leads to more babies leads to more cultivation leads to more food, etc.) And here we are today, approaching the limits of said growth! Indigenous / aboriginal “Leaver” cultures also practice small-scale agriculture, of course, but do not attempt to annihilate unwanted plants or animals (or people), if they can even imagine such a thing. Quinn has an interesting take on the Adam and Eve story, since Cain was an agriculturalist.


    Kenaz Filan (no. 88), what you are describing is the Ryan-Pitman theory. I understand that their “Black Sea Deluge” model is one of several possibilities debated among geologists:

    The Tarim Basin (today’s southern Xinjiang) would then have been the site of a similar lake (whose remnants are at Lop Nor, of nuclear testing fame). Mummies and other artifacts have been found along its former, steadily shrinking shoreline, and seem to be genetically and culturally related to archaic Altaians (as politically awkward as this is for China). Mme Blavatsky and others speak of a “Gobi” civilization (their concept of “Gobi” may have included the Taklamakan) with a capital city and lost libraries, but this suggests a much higher level of civilization than what has been found.

  103. @JMG, @Ecosophia readers – especially the Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic readers:

    I always love the Occult writings the most. A few musings inspired by the latest essay.

    On The Fall and whether or not it actually happened. According to my sources that would be a big yes. It left a large scar in humanity because of the way all 8 types of karma work in human beings (there are 8 major, primary categories of karma in play at all times within human beings according to the yogic traditions I’m familiar with).

    Setting aside the Biblical account for the moment and looking inward to one’s own body in certain kinds of sadhana you can empirically become aware of “The Fall” directly. According to the Bihar Yoga lineage all of humanity’s Kundalini energy used to reside in Swadhistana – which in some yogic traditions is also called the Abode of the self. After the Fall it was a literal downshift of humanity’s vibrational rates so Kundalini fell and now resides in Mooladhara, not Swadhistana as it formerly did in our species. Sadhguru has also hinted at such things as has Sri Rohit Arya. In terms of consciousness of the average human it means our consciousness literally shrank! It got quite a bit tinier! Hence our species being so prone to ignorance and ignorant actions.

    I also have a huge suspicion it means the breath rate of the Lemurian populace and every other human they came into contact with significantly sped up. Average life spans also got much shorter according to yogic lore. From a biophysical perspective it makes sense as well. Yogiraj Satgurunath once quipped, “The Divine gives everyone the same number of breaths but it’s up to you to decide how fast or slow you will use them up.”

    Sadhguru has said every single human body that has ever been or will be (for as long as our species is around) on the planet carries the literal karma of the Big Bang itself so learning the disciplines to look within one’s own body can teach you the truth of these Western Occult traditions about Lemuria, Atlantis, etc directly or not.

    If you learn the right kind of sadhana practices you can discover the truth of these claims empirically inside your own sheaths. The question is – do you want to invest the considerable time and effort into the kinds of practice to self-verify? I don’t think most people are that driven to find out these days but perhaps in the future with spiritual practices coming out of the closet in the West and other continents again there may be future cultures where these things are common knowledge.

    So that whole Christian biz about “All babies are born into sin”? It does have a certain amount of truth to it from a certain angle but most people misunderstand what it means in my opinion. I take it as being descriptive of the great rate of vibrational fall of which the outcome is nearly catastrophic ignorance in our species of our true nature. Seen from a yogic viewpoint it’s descriptive, not a moral indictment yet the latter is exactly what it became and still is in many people’s minds.

    From what I’ve learned every human will eventually open up access to this history within on their ascent back up. Sadhguru briefly mentioned when you get to a high enough level you can literally ‘enter a space’ (his exact words!) where you will see ALL of your former lives. Every last one of them and it will be in a far deeper manner than the one that Discursive Meditation grants.

    I didn’t really understand what he meant until Sri Rohit Arya went into it in more depth in his Sacred India Tarot book [ISBN: 978-81-88479-78-8]!

    On p. 27 Sri Arya wrote:

    In an otherwise perceptive essay on the Buddha in his book Our Oriental Heritage, the brilliant Will Durrant stated that the Buddha took the theory of rebirth for granted, as part of the axiomatic assumptions of his culture, without offering proof of its existence. In practice, the proof of rebirth is something that is rediscovered in each generation by hundreds, if not thousands, of people in meditation. Before the final attainment in Yoga, there is a stage called punyasmriti – literally ‘full memory’, but actually an incredible process in which the evolution of the organism from the most rudimentary life forms to meditating human becomes clear. Each and every incarnation taken is clear and visible in its historical setting. This is a necessary though not sufficient condition for enlightenment. There is no master who has not experienced this process; it manifests in an incomplete manner at lower levels of meditation. Buddhist literature is replete with the Buddha’s experiences in this matter, [my note: example – The Jataka Tales] but scholars who do not meditate seem to miss it altogether.

    [read: They don’t invest the time and effort needed in the proper practices that grant direct verification and so insist everyone is delusional and remain just as ignorant as they still are! ]

    To the readers who’ve wondered if it’s only Dharma traditions who espouse reincarnation/rebirth Sri Arya mentioned the following:

    Jewish mystics still have knowledge, as witnessed by Rabbi Zalma Schachter-Shalomi in his book Tying Rocks to Clouds:

    Said the Rabbi:

    “Each time we become flesh, we become incarnated. In mystical Judaism, we believe in reincarnation. It’s called gilgul. We believe each time we incarnate, we move a step forward. Coming down one time prepares me for the task I have to do next time. Whatever I conclude this lifetime, if I come back again, I can take up from where I left off – not with the same memory, mind you, but with the same traces and vibrations and merits and clarity and God-connection that I had. If I learned a lot this time around, I get to teach the next time around! If I did wrong this time, I may get to fix some of the wrong I did.”

    Note: The following quote is not in a book written by the Rabbi but seems to be one of the many interviews by the author of Tying Rocks to Clouds of which one of the questions was on reincarnation.

    I have other comments to share but this one has gotten so long I’m going to wait a bit to share the other things I’ve learned.

  104. JMG (no. 58), I meant no offense. My tendency to joke may come off wrong. Yes, I am a skeptic by nature, but I would like to believe that am open-minded (many of my opinions are surely wrong), and I certainly have a romantic interest in odd spiritual subjects. As an eccentric, very secular Buddhist, I appreciate hyper-critical approaches, especially when directed at my own beliefs (“my religion is not deluding myself,” as Milarepa either did or didn’t say!).

    I understand that you have had bad experiences with skeptics. I have had some bad experiences with New Age / Western esoteric groups (not that I blame any of you). It is a struggle to reach across these divides, but I do hope we have common ideals.

    The history of ideas is an approach that comes naturally to me (and you too have been following it in your essays on occultism). A number of times in my life…well, let me give you an example. Once I believed in Shambhala, a fabulous spiritual realm inhabited by wise Masters and located somewhere in Central Asia. With time I came to understand that my idea of “Shambhala” had a particular history which had evolved, and that Central Asia was…just a place, no more magical than anywhere else. I feel enriched by this knowledge, not diminished, and can appreciate Shambhala–the symbol–for what it is.

    Since several people have asked about Mu, I hope you will permit a brief explanation: The 19th century esoteric archeologist Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg believed that Mayan civilization spread to Atlantis, which in turn spread to ancient Egypt. “Mu” was his name for Atlantis (supposedly from Mayan). He also introduced the idea of “root races.” Augustus Le Plongeon agreed with Brasseur. Mme Blavatsky knew Le Plongeon, and incorporated Atlantis and “root races” into “The Secret Doctrine,” but also added Lemuria, which before this had only been a scientific hypothesis from Sclater (and about a different part of the world). “Lemuria” is a pun (suggested by Sclater’s friend) based on the ancient Roman festival of Lemuria. (Lemurs the animal were named after the Roman spirits called lemures.) “Mu” may sound as though it ought to derive from the second syllable of “Lemuria,” but the words are unrelated. I believe James Churchward was the first to connect “Mu” with Lemuria–before, it referred to Atlantis.

  105. @Robert Mathiesen re: Polynesian navigation methods ; I can never resist an opportunity to quote a Disney movie – Maui says,

    “It’s called ‘wayfinding’. It’s seeing where you’re going in your mind. Knowing where you are, based on where you’ve been.”

    Of course, watching that movie once caused my daughter to ask her father, “Daddy, what’s a human sacwifice?” at snack time, and while demanding I explain he asked why he had the strange feeling Dion Fortune had something to do with this. It was a baseless accusation, I do not read my children occult books. Maui makes a quick joke about sacrificing Moana, I didn’t even think she caught it. So overall, clearly Disney is still evil.

  106. Your post has striked me and left me vibrating like a bell. It has turmed out to be very sugesting to me, and upon meditating on it, some ideas had appeared on me.

    You say that the link between the personality to the individuality wich was stronger in the past enabled mankind to sense naturally their connection to the gods and the wholle creation.

    I think these implies that mankind was not restricted to their conscious self in their spiritual awareness, but can “traverse their awareness” to the diferent “kingdoms”, (such as the mental, astral or eterical and a lot more) in a more freely an easier way than today.

    Now, what if the fall was bringed about by people misusing this gift?
    Because in this context of conectedness you can influence other peoples emotions and ideas more easily than today. You can obsess them, manipulate them, bind them.In a sense you can behave like a Demon.

    And then, of course, the curse of isolation could be seen as a sad evolutionary gambit, instead of a punishment. Only the ones with will and wisdom can regain the gift.

  107. @David Trammell (#73):

    I heard roughly the same story 40-30 years ago, but with a little more detail. As it was told to me, in addition to Hubbard, the session included Jack Parsons and Bob Heinlein; and it took place in the Los Angeles area–either in Pasadena, where Parsons and Hubbard lived in the same house, or in Laurel Canyon, where the Heinleins were living–sometime in the 1940s.

    There’s no written documentation for this session–why would anyone there have bothered?–but it rings very true to me. In those years Heinlein was married to Leslyn MacDonald, who had extensive occult interests and also practiced magic, which she called her Witchcraft. The Heinleins hosted a regular meetings of science-fiction writers in their home, including Hubbard and Parsons. And Parsons had also started developing his ideas of “The Witchcraft” (that is, an organized society of Witches during the 1940s.)

    MacDonald may even have thought of her Witchcraft as her actual religion. As early as the later 1800s there were Spiritualists (usually Mediums) who claimed to be Witches and said that Spiritualism and Witchcraft were basically the same religion. That notion soon spread beyond Spiritualism, and left its traces elsewhere in the early 20th century, especially among the California SciFi community.

  108. Nice essay, JMG! I enjoyed it immensely. I love your challenge to us to consider how we got into this fix and what we might do about it. This is even better than another prognostication. I will duly stand under an icy waterfall and see what comes to me there and on a long hike through the hills, and I look forward to what others say.

  109. Hi JMG and others!

    Following should have gone to last weeks post, but I will put it here if its ok.

    Well, there is a rather ambitious plan involving regreening part of Sinai peninsula. What I have read, Egyptian government has expressed genuine interest towards it. Its a terraforming type of thing, and target area is called Wadi El-Arish watershed, some 20000km2. A megaproject, but seems to be quite low tech, involving, besides vegetation, earthworks (swales, dams etc.) I guess. If it works, its impact likely lasts longer than many other things where resources are being poured in in the region, skyscraper cities or other vanities for example. Ecology restoration makes more sense. Also many local unemployed people would get meaningful work to do. A short one. Ties van der Hoeven 20min presentation John D Liu article Map 1 Map 2

    What do you think, JMG and others?

    Also, happy new year to everyone.

  110. Another fascinating essay, JMG!

    Current estimates put the advent of writing about 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, roughly speaking. You mention that the Atlanteans could read and write. How wild would it be if archeologists found evidence of that! Do you suppose the Lemurians also had writing but we just haven’t discovered evidence of it? I find it hard to imagine a civilization existing without a system of writing.

    I guess I need to check out your Atlantis book to find out why you think we haven’t found evidence yet. By the way, did the new edition come out already?

  111. Jeff, it’s an interesting supposition, but like most such theories, it’s untestable.

    BoysMom, as do the Aztecs and quite a few other Native peoples. The Theosophists used to note this and comment that the Native peoples obviously have more of a clue than the rest of us.

    Sleiszadam, excellent — that’s the thing about myths. As Sallust said, they never happened but always are.

    Steve, Proclus was writing in the golden afternoon of classical Neoplatonic theurgy, and he’ll have seen ample evidence of exactly that point. He’s worth much more study than he usually gets these days!

    Sammy, I have some memories from Syria in the days of the late Roman Empire. During most of the dark ages that followed I was a horse nomad out on the steppes, and we heard a few rumors but that’s about it.

    Chris, “smart” and “foolish” very often go together well!

    Raphanus, I know that’s a popular theory these days. I’m open to it but by no means convinced.

    Antoinetta, I’ve always just hung up on those, because I’ve never owned a car either!

    Mac, I figure Star’s Reach is still in the current cycle, being only a few hundred years in the future. It’s a slow process, though. In terms of sources, there’s not much — you might look into old books on Theosophy.

    Joshua, the coming of the Axial Age — which is what that process is usually called — was a significant event in human history; I’ve argued elsewhere that it was driven by the spread of literacy outside a scribal class, and the resulting conviction on the part of the unwary that the world of concepts was more real than the world of experiences. It seems to be cracking at present, however, as mythic and symbolic language adapts to an environment of written communication, in a proper Darwinian style.

    Grover, good heavens, it’s nothing like a parting shot, and in fact I won’t be taking January off this year. As for souls, usually it’s all within a single cycle, but not always by any means.

    Panda, interesting. That makes a lot of sense. As for gilgul, that’s quite correct — the Kabbalistic end of Judaism has accepted reincarnation as a reality for at least a thousand years, and quite possibly much longer.

    Bei, the history of ideas can be useful — that’s what my college degree is in, you know — but it can also be a rhetorical gimmick used to delete the existence of original contributions from other sources. By the same logic you’ve used here, for example, I could come up with a family tree of evolution that reduced the whole thing to a set of ideas passed back and forth among biologists, and thus erase the very significant contributions made by research into the growth of evolutionary theory. In the same way, by treating the concept of Lemuria as nothing but a set of ideas passed back and forth among occultists, you’re erasing the role played by clairvoyance and visionary experience in the development of the concept. That’s as patronizing as it is unhelpful — and it’s one of the standard canned gimmicks deployed by pseudoskeptics to badmouth worldviews they don’t like, which is one of the reasons I don’t tend to put up with it.

    Guillem, the traditional lore agrees with you that human beings could interact far more easily with the inner planes before the Deviation than afterwards, for what it’s worth.

    Patricia O, that sounds like a very useful plan!

    Sim, good heavens. I hope they can manage to make it work.

    Blue Sun, remember that most of the real estate on which the Atlantean civilization flourished is now under many feet of water and seafloor mud. They’re thought to have had writing, though it’s possible they had something akin to the Inca quipu system instead — that’s been suggested by visionaries. As for Lemurian civilizations, here again, we don’t know, but they doubtless had some way to handle essential recordkeeping, if nothing else. No, the new edition of the Atlantis book isn’t out yet — it needs a great deal of rewriting, and a lot of research.

  112. JMG, you mentioned historical linguistics. I read a book about 20 years back by a chap named Merritt Ruhlen (recently deceased RIP) whose field was genetic classification of languages and who wondered if we couldn’t divine something about the mother of all human languages by comparing commonalities between languages and language families. My understanding is that most linguists think that languages change too quickly such that over five or six thousand years the connection between related languages is lost. Ruhlen apparently disagreed.

    Anyway, the book I read was called The Origin of Language; Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue. Some interesting things, he said that you find the sounds ‘ak’ and ‘wa’ in the word for ‘water’ across widely dispersed languages, even some Amerind languages where as I recall there was found kwa-kwa and okokwa (maybe my recollection is faulty).

    And also the sound ‘tik’ for ‘finger’ or ‘one’. My wife is from the far east whose own mother tongue is of the Sino-Tibetan family. When I asked her what is the word for ‘one’ in her dialect she replied ‘tsik’. Interesting, no?

    I gather than a lot of linguists disagree that this is possible, that what Ruhlen found were surface similarities in words. Maybe he’s onto something, maybe he’s not. I’m not a linguist.

    But if he’s right, that in certain basic words we can reconstruct past relationships between groups of people and their movements over time it would be one more usable thread of evidence.

    One more interesting thing, some geneticists examined DNA from skeletal remains of Romans and Etruscans to look into their respective origins. Right now the theory of a steppe origin for Indo-European languages like Latin – ie just north of the Caspian and Black Seas – is all the rage (it wasn’t always thus). But Etruscan has never been deciphered and has no known relationship with any other known language. And so you might expect that Etruscans and Latins would come from disparate geographic locales. Not so, they both appear to have come from the steppes according to their DNA. So how did this happen? What does this mean with respect to their linguistic as opposed to genetic origins? I don’t think anyone knows as yet but it looks like language and genetics don’t always match up.

  113. @Antoinetta III re #105

    It’s pure scam.

    I get them too and I’ve only had my car a year. The scammer calling you has probably switched to a different number to avoid the law but the robocaller line is still functioning which maybe is why you get nothing when pressing 1. If you read the customer comments in the above link countless people are getting these every day. The scammers are fishing for suckers. If one out of 10,000 people falls for it, they’ve made their money. And there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop them. Just hit the delete button on your voice mail. It’s all you can do.

    Ain’t modern technology great? 😛

  114. Antonetta #105:

    We get those warranty calls all. the. time. Pretty much every day. Just to show how random they are, I’m now getting the calls in Spanish, because as everybody knows, there’s a huge population of Spanish speakers in Vermont. Not.

    If the government really wanted to do something that would improve the lives of average Americans, they’d figure out how to stop these stupid calls.

  115. I wonder if the Gunung Padang site in Indonesia could be a relic of the Lemurian Age. I was surprised that even Wikipedia is admitting it is a megalithic site. The last time I read about it, some very powerful archaeologists were saying it was just a mountain.

    Danny Natawidjaja, a geologist who works on the site, is dating it at about 5,000 years old at the top and about 23,000 years old (or even older) near the bottom. That could be a plausible time period for Lemuria.

    It also makes me wonder if the Atlantean civilization was as fascinated by early civilizations as we are and would restore those ancient remains.

  116. @Pixilated (#113):

    That was precisely why I went out and bought a DVD of “Moana,” hoping the film-makers knew something about Polynesian “wayfinding” across the ocean. I was not disappointed.

    Long, long ago, in 1962, I spent the summer in Germany with The Experiment in International Living, and had the good fortune to travel to and from Europe across the Atlantic on student ships out of The Netherlands (the SS Groote Beer and the SS Aurelia). Though they were steamships of considerable capacity, and the decks were relatively high above the water, it was utterly fascinating to watch how the “texture” of the ocean changed from place to place along our route. (I don’t have a better word than “texture” for what was there plain for anyone to see, to hear, and also to smell. It’s always very instructive when one happens upon a thing for which one’s language has no word, not even close to any word.)

    So when I first read about Polynesian “wayfinding,” I was fascinated, much as I had been fascinated much earlier by Thor Heyerdahl’s voyages.

    I have no certain past-life memories, and feel no particular urge to explore my past lives. But if there is anything to it, I may well have been a deep-sea sailor “before the mast” in some recent past life. The “way of a ship,” as Alan Villiers termed it, and everything I can learn about life aboard a deep-sea sailing ship, has always been an abiding source of deep-rooted joy for me.

  117. @JMG(#96):

    Aha, yet another version of the story about Hubbard, this time from someone (Pohl) who said he was there! Oral traditions are wonderously variable things, but anthropological research has shown that they usually contain a stable core of truth beneath all the embellishments.

    Also, before I forget, best wishes to you and Sara from Elva and me for the New Year! May it bring you much joy!

  118. JMG, I hope so too. It has a promise to have many positive effects, locally, and in the wider region. More regular and more total yearly rainfall to start with as an effect that vegetation brings (or so the theory goes).

    A small part of the target watershed area is in Israel, but I think they will be happily to do their part.

    That is what flash floods in ME deserts look like- so much valuable fresh water wasted, by evaporation and directly to the sea in coastal areas. They can be destructive also: El Arish, Sinai, Egypt (Dry river systems mouth) Negev desert, Israel Dubai Oman 1 Oman 2

    I forgot that from my last comment:

  119. @ Bakbook #66 – I’ve read somewhere that Biblical characters who reached advanced old age of many centuries were not individuals but dynasties.

  120. JMG, if I may, two comments on a couple of your responses:

    1) “Roger, there seems to be quite some evidence that rather than field agriculture, human civilizations before the end of the last ice age depended on a kind of permaculture that made use of many edible plants and animals, some cultivated and others wild or semi-wild.”

    I’d also point to the possibility that a Lemurian civilization might have gained a significant portion of its calories from fishing or even aquaculture – I have unfortunately lost the link, but I remember reading about a pre-Columbian city in modern-day Florida circa 2000 years ago that is thought to have fed itself by aquaculture heavily supplemented with the kind of semiwild polyculture you describe.

    Needless to say, if the Lemurians relied heavily on aquaculture then that would have strongly pushed them to build their settlements on the coast rather than in the inland highlands – a decision that would have guaranteed those settlements sinking once the sea level rose.

    2) “They should still check it for ruins; it’s by no means certain that we’re the first city-building species on this planet.”

    You know, I’m by no means convinced that we’re the only city-building species on this planet *right now*, and if anything we may be Johnny-come-latelies to the practice by several orders of magnitude.

    It’s just that the other city-building species are quite a bit smaller than we are: a number of eusocial insects, mostly from order Hymnoptera. (That is to say, some species of ants, bees, and termites, plus possibly some others I’m forgetting.) There’s differences in specifics between an anthill or termite mound and Paris or even Jericho back in the day, but I think they may be different manifestations of the same phenomenon.

    (One of my wilder speculative hypotheses is that present Homo Sapiens is a living example of a transitional stage in the eusocial transition. If that’s correct that might actually point to a slightly later date for the start of human civilization (circa 50,000 years ago or so) and more importantly a reason for the delay between the development of anatomically modern humans as the start of civilization: the genetic bottleneck in the wake of the Toba eruption reduced human genetic diversity to the point that it made the eusocial transition a possibility, and the development of civilization required the start of that transition.)

  121. @ Milkyway #83

    One book that touches on this is ‘In the Days of Victorio: Recollections of a Warm Springs Apache’ (by Eve Ball and James Kaywaykla; ISBN: B00B9MIE8I, ISBN13: 9780816504015, 1972, University of Arizona Press). It’s about a whole lot more, including the loss of a whole way of life. It can be readily found through an online search.

  122. Roger, I’ve been convinced for a long time now that historical linguistics is badly in need of a Copernican revolution or two. Ruhlen has some good points, and there’s also the hard fact that a genetic model for language descent is not necessarily a good metaphor. Biological descent allows of only one kind of transmission of genetics and becomes harder the more genetic distance there is between organisms — with language neither of those are true. Languages can absorb words practically at random from other languages, and can blend in weird ways — the Celtic languages, for example, have a habitual sentence structure with the verb “to be” at the beginning, which is shared by no other Indo-European language and probably descends from the non-IE language spoken in that part of the world when the Celts arrived.

    I’m far from sure, when it comes down to it, that there ever was such a language as Proto-Indo-European — I’d like to see somebody apply cladistic analysis to the IE languages and see what patterns of descent emerge; I doubt they’ll follow current dogma. As for the Latins and Etruscans, you find that all over the place. In northern California there are three native tribes, the Yurok, Wiyot, and Nongatl; by just about every measure you care to name they’re identical to their neighbors, except that their languages belong to the Algonquian family, the same family as the languages spoken over here on the Atlantic coast. How did they get to California? No one knows. Go a little north into far southwest Oregon and you’ll encounter the Takelma people; they speak a lovely language of their own, which isn’t related to anything else anywhere; it’s as different from neighboring languages as English is from Vietnamese. Nobody knows where it came from.

    Jon, how fascinating. 23,000 years ago might well put it in late Lemurian times.

    Robert, I suspect more than one of those stories was true. I notice also that several SF writers in that California scene wrote books right at that time about fake religions as instruments of political power — Sixth Column (1949) by Heinlein and Gather, Darkness! (1950) by Fritz Leiber are the ones that come to mind. So the idea was in circulation; Hubbard seems to be the one who picked it up and ran with it.

    Mister N, good.

    Username, two good points. Aquaculture was very common in tropical Native American sedentary cultures, and for excellent reasons. As for eusocial insects, true, and don’t forget the naked mole-rats!

  123. Roger (#120) wrote:

    “What does this mean with respect to their [Romans and Etruscans] linguistic as opposed to genetic origins? I don’t think anyone knows as yet but it looks like language and genetics don’t always match up.”

    It’s actually been quite clear for most of a century that the language, the culture and the deep genetic ancestry of various peoples don’t always match up. The first compelling examples of this (to the best of my knowledge) were documented for Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest by anthropological linguists, mostly students of Franz Boas (1858-1942) and his student Edward Sapir (1884-1939). Other good examples are found among the Pueblo tribes of the American Southwest.

  124. @JMG (#132):

    Just So! Curiously enough, Fritz Leiber was one of the other major SF writers, along with Heinlein, whose wife, Jonquil Stephens, was passionately interested in Witchcraft as a form of magic that worked. (See various biographical articles by their son Justin). Jonquil is pretty clearly the prototype for Tansy in Conjure Wife, just as Heinlein’s second wife, Leslyn MacDonald, is the prototype for the witch Amanda, “She who must be loved,” in Magic, Inc.

  125. “They agreed with the atheists that the whole business of talking snakes and magic apples could not be taken seriously as a literal description of what happened”

    On that note. The “Snake” may actually have been a Cherubim. A shining flaming winged snake being hanging around in the Garden of Eden:

    Historically the seals discovered in archaeology depicting the “Seraphim” has been depicted as winged flying serpents that looked like gleaming bronze.

    Since Eden was a “Garden of God” its not a far fetch for those heavenly beings to hang around that place.

    Eden was also meant to be an earthly temple of God where Heaven and Earth meet and is shaped like a mountain.

    And Adam and Eve were the first priests on the earth. They were meant to be priestly monarchs ministering to God.

    This is all found out as the result of textual,historical and archaeological research. Which this person detailed in his Genesis series.

  126. @JMG
    Perhaps then we should be careful to distinguish between the effects of the Lemurian Deviation and the effects of this later Axial deviation. I wonder if people conflate the two. The Axial form seems quite pervasive, so people seeking reintegration in most modern cultures must treat both forms of debasement of consciousness.

  127. JMG, I’ve read the same thing about ‘loan words’. There is one theory about Indo-European origins that says proto-IE developed in close proximity to Semites as evidenced by presence of Semitic loan words widespread throughout IE languages. If I recall correctly one word was the Semitic word for ‘star’, another for ‘light’. If the theory holds any water then the geographic locale for proto-IE origins would likely be to the south of the steppes, maybe at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates (that’s if proto-IE even exists) and that it may have first spilled over into Europe from Asia Minor with the migration of Neolithic farmers rather than the now popular idea that it came with a chariot-riding warrior class from north of the Black Sea. Of course both may have happened, successive waves of Indo-European speakers, one from Asia Minor and then another from the Pontic Steppes.

    The Americas are a fascinating thing, some linguists have said it’s impossible to have gotten the variety of Amerindian languages that we have given the too tight time frames of the theory of post-glacial settlement. IOW the Americas have to have been settled for far, far longer, ie tens of thousands of years. And it appears that maybe linguistic theory and archeology are lining up in this case.

    Hate to bore but one more interesting thing; I’ve read that Amazonian peoples have got some genetic markers typical of Australian Aborigines and that Polynesian markers have been found in Amerindian people on the coast of South America. They say that the people most genetically similar to people living in Siberia fifty thousand years ago are now in Australia and New Guinea and those people most genetically similar to Siberians twenty-five thousand years ago are now in the Amazon. Astounding isn’t it?

  128. Interesting article.

    My own limited knowledge of these beings suggests that they didn’t so much flunk out as DROP OUT. They see the entire trajectory of spiritual evolution as misguided. Incarnation does not elevate matter, it only degrades the spirit by yoking it to an animal soul irreconcilable with its own nature. The ‘great work’ is really a diabolical scheme to corrupt & enslave sapient souls to mindless matter & the archons who rule it. From this perspective the Luciferian spirits are not demons, but something closer to aeons or bodhisattvas who work to free themselves & others from (in their view) the pointless cycle of reincarnation.

    I have no trouble understanding why many would see these beings & their purpose as the bedrock of evil; but I can also see why they would see themselves as perfectly justified & in the right.

  129. In re: Robocalls:

    To all who responded, thanks for your input. I get so many huckstering calls that I never just answer my phone when it rings. I let it play out over the phone’s speaker, and if it isn’t someone I know, I don’t answer at all. More often than not, the lit up number that represents the number of messages on the phone reverts to Zero after the voice ends, meaning no message was actually left.

    With this vehicle warranty business, I just got such a huge number of these calls over such a relatively short amount of time that out of curiosity I responded by pressing 1, and found I was holding a dead telephone.

    I have followed the Ecosophia site since its beginning, and for years on the Archdruid Report before that; the link to the latter I found at the old Oil Drum site. Thanks John Michael for all the years of highly nourishing brain-food.

    Speaking of the Oil Drum, some time ago I came across their archive site. It is a chronological listing of every post and every reader response ever made on the site. About a year ago, I started reading through from the beginning. I have now worked my to the middle of 2007. It suddenly flashed on me that this felt like I was reading something describing our current situation energy-wise, not something written 14 years ago. Back in 2007, the fracking of shale oil was derided on the Oil Drum, no one believed it would go anywhere. But then, enabled by investors with more money than brains, shale-oil took off. But now that shale has peaked (as per Art Berman) it seems that what the fracking industry did was simply kick the can 14 years down the road. Now that the shale is post-peak, our energy situation is more or less where it was 14 years ago; hence the contemporary feel to the old Oil Drum conversations.

    Happy solstice, Christmas, holidays to all.

    Antoinetta III

  130. Following from Bei Dawei on soul-identity (#110) – one might suspect it could apply “horizontally” as well: that’s to say, a soul might have more than one body simultaneously, like a rich man might own several houses. Normally the person concerned would be unaware of this; only some kind of accident might bring the fact out.

  131. Hi John Michael,

    You betcha! 🙂

    Hey, I noticed a discussion about linguistics and once read an account that way back in the day the Indigenous folks repeated the words, stories and songs of the early Europeans. Apparently, the Indigenous folks used to trade them between groups, and then perform them in distant locales far from the Europeans. What I took away from that chance account was that their culture placed far more value on such art and communication forms than we currently do.

    In these more enlightened times, we place value on churning such works. Think about how long a hit song stays a hit nowadays, and the paucity of endurance reflects very poorly upon us all.



  132. I had a similar impression but didn’t make too much of it. It could be that they are Spartans, as they are Greeks and it would be strange to say a Greek never got in a boat. It could be they used to do that at that distant time. It could be an exception to a rule. It could be that, like the U.S. Marines, it was a boat of mostly Spartans in an Athenian boat. It could be that all Greeks were called “Spartans” to the writer. The might have worn Spartan clothes but been from a Greek colony like Sicily. They may have just misunderstood who they were. I may have forgotten myself and am misquoting it. But with all those possibilities, there’s only one true solution: Read the book and decide for yourself:

    Besides, the relevant part this week were the pre-Gilgamesh, the (two) flood(s), and the Comet of Destruction accounts, although they are within the era of “History,” by definition.

    Reincarnation in Judaism, there is the passage “Who do people say that I am?” “They say you are Elijah” could not possibly be more clear about the commonality of reincarnation in Palestine. I have heard modern Rabbis discuss this as well. Only one peculiar Jewish sect, popularized in Rome did not believe this.

    Placing the eras: if Atlantis – and there are “Atalans” in southern Mexico at the time and location and city-type described by Plato – was pre-flood, say 10-12,000 years go, then remember Lemuria would be the previous Ice Age, or 10,000 years before that, 20-ish thousand years ago. We don’t even know what happened 10,000 years ago. Or 500y in Tudor England, well-recorded. With twice as much time and two glaciations and mass-floods in-between, leaving no evidence but that in caves or under the sea, which are easy to visit and you can click pictures of them all day, under the Pacific, off the coast of Japan, universally in 80 feet of water. Alexandria is a little higher, and you could scuba that in Egypt in just a few feet. Or make your own brass-gearwork Antikytheria computer mechanism from a time we were supposedly all living in animalskin tents. Speaking of Disney and “knowing something”, Disney’s “Atlantis” has all visuals matching the Mayan-area although they say not a word in the script.

    Caution to the Black Sea hypothesis: Turkey has the highest mountains in Europe, and they DO know where the mountains of Ararat are. Just because Europeans are idiots doesn’t mean Turks are and didn’t know how to record a hawk vs a handsaw when the weather was good. So this question: what kind of event raises the seas worldwide/lowers the Bosporus 80 feet one Thursday afternoon? Perhaps a somewhat catastrophic one? They couldn’t escape a sea level rise because all 80 feet happened in 10 minutes while they were sleeping, or, like our proposed 100-year sea rise, we’d just move back from the Jersey shore a mile or two.

    Therefore not kind of a placid little trickle like a Tsunami, but a planetary sloshing, recorded in the stories of all cultures worldwide, whose descriptions identically describe safety only over 10,000 feet? Once you have to identify a powerful enough cause, the picture is noticeably different and why “writing” wasn’t the first thing on their minds when they came out or landed in several arks.

    But you can read about both in India. They have the pre-Atlantis books in Sanskrit, and possibly the Lemurian. Go ask.

  133. Extremely OT: You mentioned several earmarks of a period of decline, including “The emergence of new cultural forms.” Which could actually include a massive “last hurrah” of dying cultural forms finally doing the impossible with said forms a la Wagner’s grand finale megaseries (Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit….) Well, here’s a truly big one. Exeunt omnis magna cum gloriosois…

  134. Hello JMG,

    The speculation that you mentioned about Saturn as a long-dead star reminds me of a major hypothesis among “Electric Universe” community which claims that Saturn used to be a brown dwarf star before it was captured by our solar system, and the Earth used to be a satellite of Saturn. According to this hypothesis, (in a nutshell) the Earth was inside the plasma sheath of Saturn, it used to have more prosperous climate conditions for humans, and its rupture from Saturn system happened in a series of cataclysmic events. Proponents of this hypothesis further claim that some common themes found in many myths around the world (such as flood, doomsday, long lost Golden Age etc.) are reminiscent of the dim memories of humans from that era. This is considered as a “fringe theory” in modern astrophysics and comparative mythology, but it is very strange that it has some commonalities with a completely different source – Western occult teachings.

    Here is a book about the preliminary version of “Saturn Myth” hypothesis before it merged with Electric Cosmology:

    And here is a presentation about more refined and up-to-date version of the same hypothesis:

    I think you may find it interesting.

  135. OT for this week, but in keeping with the greater theme: just got an ad from Staples (office supply store): “Plan ahead for less!”

    Yes! YES! YES! LESS is what we’re going to get, and it’ll be easier to cope with if we plan ahead. Oh, wait. They’re just selling calendars at a discount. 😉

  136. @Steve T

    “If you’ve ever been anywhere a mass murder took place– not a crime of passion or even an act of gangland violence, but the type of “rampage killing” that makes headlines– the psychic atmosphere becomes absolutely toxic, in a way that is impossible to describe. It’s as if some pair of monstrous jaws had reached into our world and taken a bite out of it. If this teaching is correct, that is one of the signs of demonic activity. The conscious, deliberate rejection of the divine– described as “terrible sacrilege” by Plato and “blasphemy against the Spirit by Jesus– is the other, or another. We were meant to deal with suffering, pain, hardship, and violence during our earthly sojourn, but we weren’t meant to deal with the demonic. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with it.”

    In regards to your comment I am reminded of this kind of Scripture:

    Numbers 35:33
    “33Do not pollute the land where you live, for bloodshed pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land on which the blood is shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”

    Seems that at least in regards to what the God of the Hebrews have said. To cleanse the land of such pollution that opens up the portals to the demonic. The murderer has to die. A mandate of Capital Punishment at least in regards to murder.

    There is something special about human life that makes this possible. Of course malicious demonic spirits would want people on this planet to do such evil things to allow them more free reign on this plane.

    Demonic activity necessitates cleansing and exorcisms. The land or property that is cursed must be un-cursed and cleansed by specialists before it is suitable for human use again.

  137. @JMG, Pretentious_Username

    “You know, I’m by no means convinced that we’re the only city-building species on this planet *right now*, and if anything we may be Johnny-come-latelies to the practice by several orders of magnitude.

    It’s just that the other city-building species are quite a bit smaller than we are: a number of eusocial insects, mostly from order Hymnoptera. (That is to say, some species of ants, bees, and termites, plus possibly some others I’m forgetting.) There’s differences in specifics between an anthill or termite mound and Paris or even Jericho back in the day, but I think they may be different manifestations of the same phenomenon.

    “There’s differences in specifics between an anthill or termite mound and Paris or even Jericho back in the day, but I think they may be different manifestations of the same phenomenon.”

    I do take issue with people however who would describe eusocials as ‘civilizations”.

    Civilization as a descriptive does etymological roots in the word for City originally.

    But then again. Civilization also includes superior aesthetics. Refined beauty of its buildings, social graces, clothing(like the silk robes of the Han Chinese) and general taste.

    Everything that would be associated with high culture for example.

    In terms of quality. Humanity is able to come up with cities of a whole different quality. So its not enough I think to simply make eusociality identical to the term “civilization”

    Its one thing to build in a pure utilitarian fashion and another to make it also exquisitely beautiful at the same time without compromise of the utility of said construct in question.

  138. Pondering demons of Lemuria. My imagination and sense of things are squirrelly in many ways. I have dreams of visiting the Squirrel Gods (Gods that the Squirrels worship). My squirrelness is noted by many people, which leads to me to believe I was a squirrel or something.

    With that introduction, I wonder if various demons were once Gods of Trilobites and other Deep Time creatures. When those creatures died out, there were no one left to venerate these Gods. Distressed they glommed on to humans but were so alien that humans thought of them as demons.

    I sense a particular human-centricness in stories of these old continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. I wonder is it because as humans, we cannot conceive of anything else. My first reading of the blog post about the souls was to assume they were human or something similar. I am still pondering what these souls are.

    So the story of the Fall or whatever doesn’t have to be about humans. Did Trilobites have a Fall? Dinosaurs?

    As I said, I am a bit squirrelly at times.

  139. @ Steve T re: # 15


    @ info re: #149 —

    Decades ago, there was a Los Angeles playground shooting. The parents wanted to forget. Many were Southeast Asian refugees who had enough to deal with. The children wanted to redeem the “evil place,” as they called it, and reclaim their playground. They re-enacted the event. Then they re-ran it with a happy ending.

    Fuzzy on the details — think Spider-Man showed up to deal with the shooter. Think there were candles, flowers, and a chicken sacrifice. Pretty sure specialists eventually came to cleanse the space. Maybe they brought the chicken.

    Didn’t happen all at once. More like, a couple-three adventurous and/or traumatized kids went to the “evil place” at first. Bang, you’re dead. How do we fix this? It built from there.

  140. @ JMG – if it was more than just circumstances, what do you think would drive that process? Was I a Catholic in past life? Was the universe, or some other entity trying to send me a message?

    (I realize I’m asking a very sweeping question, just curious what your thoughts are on the matter.)

  141. To tie in with the discussion on the fall of man in this post, an excerpt from Douglas Warren’s “The Sword in the Sun” where the author alleged to speaking with an angel. In the prior response, the author blamed the fall for his and the worlds problems and this is the angel’s response:

    “What do you know about the fall? Your mythology gives expression to what your folk-memory remembers; but the memories are vague. You only know the effects; you can only guess the cause. The whole truth of the Fall is altogether beyond your knowing. You are right; you talk too much of the Fall. St Paul never intended Adam and Eve to be so obsessively rediscovered! You are redeemed; your frailty is made a means of Grace. Forget the Fall! You are to live the risen life, and in this age of transition, your guardians are there to help you. This very age, terrible though it is, is itself a means of Grace as you shall discover.”

  142. @Ecosophia readers:

    #140. Robert+Gibson said:

    Following from Bei Dawei on soul-identity (#110) – one might suspect it could apply “horizontally” as well: that’s to say, a soul might have more than one body simultaneously, like a rich man might own several houses. Normally the person concerned would be unaware of this; only some kind of accident might bring the fact out.

    According to the Tamil Siddha lineages this is sometimes the case. In the book, Rivulets of the Absolute: Healing Ground in the Ancient Tamil Siddha Tradition [ISBN: 0997166304] the author was instructed by his guru to write a book about what he’d experienced and what he’d learned.

    So began the author recounting the following among disciples of a Tamil Siddha guru:

    Several of the devotees were discussing among themselves the revelation that one man among them, who was sixty-three years of age, had recently learned that in his previous life he lived as a peasant boy in a nearby village and died at the age of six. When they told their master about this, the sage, who usually was silent on such subjects, merely stated that, yes, it was true. He continued on to state that the very boy who the older man was in his previous life was living right now in that very village and was three years old!

    The above agrees with things I’ve read from other gurus, Sadhguru included. Sadhguru says he seldom ever mentions such things because 1. once on the spiritual path people will quickly discover that logic breaks down. The universe is illogical but humanity is at a stage right now were Logic is Uber Alles. Ok…well maybe that stance is finally beginning to discredit itself somewhat but it still holds sway over large segments over the world’s billions.

    2. Sadhguru says for the one hearing such explanations the reaction typically is either belief or disbelief. People seldom take the position of desiring to begin the process of self-verification of what was said. Too much work. It’s easier to be lazy and stick with just believing or disbelieving. Plus – the more educated the moreso is true of the following – the universe must bow down to humanity’s demands that it be LOGICAL. Both responses keep personal ignorance on matters like what the Rivulets author conveyed intact except now the ignorance is even more stupid because it’s gained confidence. Sadhguru says the most educated are currently the most prone to such Confident Ignorance. Education in many ways makes people MORE stupid, not less. Also it makes them more LAZY. Someone else somewhere did some stuff that discredited (or credited) what was said so I don’t have to put in the work personally to verify so I’m just gonna stick with my belief or disbelief.

    I have read things from other gurus that say whenever someone dies your rebirth can go either way. That is, from a linear time perspective, one’s next rebirth could have you born in a year earlier than when you died! Just as the author of Rivulets recounts. Sometimes this can lead to concurrent lives. My next life might well also be alive right this minute somewhere else in the world and could either be older or younger than the current incarnation typing and submitting this for this week’s essay. But it would still legitimately be my “next life” in terms of karma.

    Sadhguru and other teachers I’ve studied all insist the universe does not operate according to humanity’s demands that it be logical. In fact, the higher you go in mystical dimensions the less logical it becomes until finally logic breaks apart. Sadhguru says even modern science is slowly admitting this because they came up with the term “Fuzzy Logic.” Quote from Sadhguru, “If something is fuzzy that means it’s not logical.” But academia science can’t admit to this because there are still strong cultural taboos in the STEM fields to admitting logic can’t explain the results they’re seeing.

    Humanity’s demands that the universe be logically consistent according to current cultural ideas of rationality is one of the most hubristic things about us as a species right now according to Sadhguru. But he realizes this is what holds sway over billions around the world so he doesn’t speak about such things because it won’t do any good to change their prejudices – especially not the ‘highly educated’.

    My take on the whole concurrent lives is that you get reborn in whichever era and body that is…A). the best match for one’s whole constellation of accumulated tendencies and B) what is next up on the “karmic to-do list” of “things that need crossing off” said list.

    The universe is truly weirder than what humanity can possibly conceive but we won’t get anywhere much as a species until we give up the delusion that our tiny super-educated intellects have mostly mastered it and all that remains is inconsequential, trivial details for the completionist, anal retentive types.

  143. Hi Sybok,

    It’s human, oddly enough, for the bad guy to see himself in the right. To the end of his days Pol Pot refused to admit he had gone too far. Maybe all thinking creatures except dogs have trouble admitting they’ve been bad. I except dogs because in The Truth About Dogs, Stephen Budiansky tells of all his dogs running out of the room in a thoroughly guilty fashion after only one had pooped on the floor.

    I wonder if dogs ever wonder how much we get for their poop? They probably figure it has value among us or we wouldn’t grab it up so quick. Perhaps there are legends of human alchemists who transmute dog poop into dog food? The family vehicle must figure into it somehow since that’s where the dog food comes from.

  144. A happy 2022 to all! I’m so old I remember when nothing was open on 1 January except theatres, restaurants, and some gas stations and grocery stores. How about you?

  145. Robert, witchcraft was another thing that was definitely in the air at that same time. I’m thinking here among other things of Fletcher Pratt’s The Blue Star (1952) — which iirc first appeared in the same anthology as Conjure Wife. I suspect a lot of the background in both cases was Charles Fort’s book Wild Talents (1933), which starts with poltergeist phenomena and goes on to postulate the reality of witchcraft as a sex-linked psionic ability found mostly in young women. (I’ve been rereading Fort of late — I’m drafting the first of a series of occult-detective novels, and one of the things that struck me in reading older occult-detective fiction is that the range of things being detected is embarrassingly narrow. Fort strikes me as a good counterbalance to that…)

    Info, that’s entirely plausible. Do you recall the incident in the Book of Numbers where the Israelites get bitten by flaming serpents until Moses puts a serpent of brass on a pole in the middle of the camp? In the original Hebrew, the word for those fiery serpents is in fact “seraphim.”

    Joshua, yes indeed. If the occult traditions are to be taken seriously, human history covers a lot of ground, and has left a range of impacts on us — and sorting those out is worth doing.

    Roger, on the other hand, it’s quite possible that Semitic loanwords crossed the mountains and got to the steppes that way. There are Indo-European loanwords in ancient Chinese — the word dao in modern Mandarin, drogh in ancient Chinese, is an exact cognate of the English word “track” and Russian dorogu and shares the meaning of “way, road, path” — and they probably got there by way of intermediary peoples or long distance trade across the steppes. As for the Americas, the whole “Clovis first” dogma is utter garbage, and it’s long past time it got composted. Human beings have been in the Americas since before the last ice age, and it’s high time we admit that.

    Sybok, that’s another perspective. If the people who aligned themselves with demonic influence didn’t so often behave in ways we can quite reasonably call “evil,” I’d find it more convincing.

    Robert, maybe so, but most of the time it seems to work in a much simpler, more straightforward, sequential manner.

    Chris, an excellent point! On the other hand, it may reflect something of the quality of our hit songs…

    Jeanne, I’ll want to wait until more data comes in. They used to say the same things about the Mayan cities, until somebody did a little more digging and found the residential quarters.

    Patricia M, those really do have an end-of-an-era “Kill da Waaaa-bit!” grandiosity about them, don’t they?

    Minervaphilos, yes, I’ve seen those claims as well. I suspect the common source is Western occultism itself; somebody encountered the claim that Saturn was the “old Sun” — Dion Fortune writes about that, for example — and interpreted it in a Velikovskian manner.

    Lathechuck, still, it’s a favorable omen!

    Info, I’d recommend a look at beehive architecture sometime. I don’t think the elegance of the construction can be described as merely utilitarian.

    Neptunesdolphins, oh, it’s quite possible that other intelligent beings inhabited this planet before us, and others will inhabit it after us, and if so, they’ll doubtless have their own complex histories in which the potential for a Fall is a factor. All the five great cycles of human civilization we’re discussing took place within an eyeblink of the planet’s lifespan; they’re just important to humans because they affect us — as doubtless the spiritual evolution of squirrels interests squirrels intensely. 😉

    Vala, according to tradition, very rarely, and with disastrous consequences.

    Ben, I have no idea. Have you considered divination?

    Tamanous, iirc, that’s a fascinating book and well worth close attention.

    Panda, thanks for this.

  146. @ JMG — I agree entirely regarding Proclus. The good news is that a number of his works are available in new, readable and well-annotated translations– I enjoy Thomas Taylor’s style, but his translations aren’t exactly easy reading!

    @ Jeanne — Thank you for that! That suggests that Penelope turned up in that dream for a reason; she may represent the Higher Self, patiently weaving the tapestry of our lives as she awaits the sojourner in a distant and demon-haunted land to return…

    @ Lady Cutekitten, or Princess, or the Kitten Monarch– To my mind, original sin makes perfect sense as a literal description of collective karma, or as a myth in the Sallustian sense, and no sense at all as a description of inherited, personal guilt weirdly tied in with Augustine of Hippo’s personal sexual hangups.

    @ Info — That’s fascinating; thank you very much. I’m only vaguely familiar with the details of the Old Testament, having yet to really approach it in my adult life. There is a Biblical scholar named Michael Heiser who has done a lot of very good work over the last decade or so in uncovering the spiritual geography of the Old Testament and early Christianity, I wonder if you’ve read him? I should add that, to my mind, his views are unfortunately tainted by a belief in sola scriptura, but, then, I have my prejudices.

    @ Nemo– That’s also extremely interesting, thank you. Notice that the children, who haven’t been abused out of seeing what’s obviously there, can tell exactly what’s going on…

  147. Robert Mathiesen (#124) that delights me to no end. I have an inordinate love for that movie, and I hope I can be her grandmother when I grow up; frightening children, being the village crazy lady, manta ray, whatever…

    And the Groote Beer is absolutely a great ship name. I fear I would get very, very sea sick though.

    @JMG if I recall correctly, there is a potentially Algonquin-ancestory descended nation – though not language – in BC, Washington and Idaho, as well. It’s a fascinating province for languages – there are 34 distinct indigenous languages (excluding of course Chinook jargon or anything else that evolved post-official-European-contact) from seven main families of languages don’t share common ancestries between each other – as different as English and Chinese. Haida from Haida Gwaii as well as Ktunaxa in the Kootenays are complete isolates; however, the Ktunaxa (Kootenai on the US side) have an origin story that says they originated in the Great Lakes region, in what is now Michigan, and that is why they lived a plains-tribe lifestyle with a plains-tribe religion dissimilar to surrounding mountain and forest-culture tribes. The official theory is that if that is true, the migration happened in the 1800’s after they were chased their by westward movements of the Crow and Blackfoot, as there is no archaeological record to verify the longer history the tribe claims. The fact that the language would have had had to have time to become an isolate doesn’t seem to enter into the calculation…

  148. #133 Regarding the Etruscans and language groups, Bronze and early Iron Age colonies were founded by men who took wives from among the local population. Later when the colonies were more established many of the indigenous people would take up the language and many of the customs, while the colonizers did the same in the other direction.

    There was debate for decades about whether the Etruscans were Anatolian colonists or came out of the indigenous southern Italian neolithic culture. The answer is “Yes.” This isn’t unusual at all: think about Britons ruled by Anglo-Saxons, followed by Anglo-Saxons ruled by Normans. The Etruscan leadership had Anatolian roots, but within a few generations they and the locals had intermingled a good deal culturally and linguistically.

    We also thought Etruscan was a language isolate. My not entirely uneducated guess is that it is Indo-European that started out as a Luwian dialect but also incorporates a good bit of Akkadian (the Etruscan liver divination models look very much like Babylonian figures), some proto-Greek, and a few indigenous languages that were forgotten centuries before we lost Etruscan, and which may well have been language isolates. But given that we only have a couple hundred words of Etruscan, it really is anybody’s guess.

  149. Princess Cutekitten, ( I am curtseying),
    I remember when nothing was open on New Year’s Day. Service stations were not necessary as few people had cars, certainly not us, and weren’t driving round hell, west and crooked anyway. Grocery stores were not needed as people could plan ahead for a few days and manage. Now everyone madly stocks up and the stores will be open anyway. Maybe I grew up in the Dark Ages and was too stupid to notice.

  150. @JMG(#159):

    Thank you so much for reminding me of Fort! I started reading him when I was about eleven, but he was too much for my self-forming mind at that young age, and I never finished the four books. He’s an extremely important chronicler of the Weird. I really need to go back and have another look in the near future.

    I have that anthology with Leiber’s and Pratt’s stories! You may or may not know that the idea of a special “blue star” shows up here and there in some of the early non-Gardnerian Witchcraft traditions in the US. I suspect Pratt’s novel was the source.

  151. JMG A couple of questions and a book report. Was the creation of Faustian culture a similar occurrence to the Lemurian deviation or was it some sort of revival of it and related to it?
    I just finished a fascinating book. It was “The Origins of Capitalism” by Ellen Meiksins Wood. She makes the case that our current voracious industrial capitalism grew out of a particular social structure that originated in rural England. That this social structure was particularly good at producing food which supported the beginning of the industrial revolution and this structure then enhanced and fed the growth frenzy that became the industrial revolution. She further argues that once established in England the nature of this structure then altered other countries industrial activities in an effort to keep up.

    The book can be downloaded here:

    I did my best to check, and this site seems to be legitimate and not abusing copyright laws.

    If her views are at all correct it raises several interesting questions in my mind. Is capitalism an aberration of a natural human tendency or is it driven by another force. Both the demand for growth depicted as part of Faustian culture and the appetite for growth in modern industrial capitalism strike me as something other than human. Or it is possible that what drives capitalism is a miss application of a natural human tendency. What exactly that natural human tendency might be is not at all clear to me and I am curious as to your thoughts.

    It was a thought provoking read. I would love to get some feedback from the historians in the commentariat. As a mechanical engineer history has not been one of my strong skills. Thanks! Tom

  152. @Happy Panda (#156):

    I usually don’t comment on your valuable posts about Sadhguru, because the technical terminology of his teaching does not usually fit well with my own, so I am never sure that I have understood him rightly.

    But when (as you report here) Sadhguru says that “the universe does not operate according to humanity’s demands that it be logical. In fact, the higher you go in mystical dimensions the less logical it becomes until finally logic breaks apart.” I can’t refrain from jumping up and shouting, “This is so true! Right on!” My own mystical experiences, though much less profound than Sadhguru’s long years of practice, very early in my life made me quite certain of the same thing. It is one of the best keys I have ever found for coming to grips with the unfathomable puzzles of ultimate reality.

  153. JMG and Commentariat There have been several people asking about tracking the sun and noting that it did not seem to be in the same place as a year ago. There are a number of issues that need to be paid attention to. Solar time is not the same as industrial civilizations clock time. The experience of the suns position is affected by latitude. Rather than go into gory detail I will direct people to two websites. One I really like is Time and Date. They have a great website with lots of information. They also have a really nice free newsletter that posts updates for eclipses and other events. They also, as far as I can tell, truly do not share your information or push sales crap at you.

    The other site I found that has great pictures and descriptions on this topic is:

    I do not know anything about this site, but I had a great time reading about the issues at hand here.

  154. @Kenaz Filan (#162):

    Yiou may well be right about Etruscan. Sometimes the sound-changes that happen over time are so opaque that it takes a major intellectual effort to untangle them. Armenian was thought to be a language isolate (or a highly variant form of Persian) until the brilliant work of Heinrich Hübschmann showed that it was a separate branch within the Indo-European language family. And, alas, we have so little Etruscan limnguistic material.

    When I was an undergraduate and studying historical and anthropological linguistics at UC Berkeley, I fell in with a graduate student in linguistics who happend to be a native speaker of Georgian, and was married to a woman who was a native speaker of Basque (Euskara, as the Basques call it). He was absolutely convinced that Basque was not (as usually thought) a language isolate, but a very distant relative of the group of Caucasian languages that included Georgian, and that in principle some linguist could pull a Hübschmann and prove it. (I can’t remember his name after all, these years, so I can’t check whether he may ever have attempted such a feat of reconstruction.)

  155. Re: the distinction between participation and control

    I think the distinction lies in allowing the other party (with which you are interacting) to have agency. If you treat the other party as a completely passive entity you are trying to control them. If you allow them to have their input that you are ready to receive, you are willing to be the passive side for a while, then its interaction. It’s a lot like dancing, or a dialogue (vs monologue).

    With that, I wish everyone a happy new year.

  156. Completely topical, oh my sides…

    “A $51 million superyacht, Utopia IV — owned by multimillionaire JR Ridinger [CEO of Market America and] — rear-ended and sunk a gas tanker in the Bahamas on Christmas Eve.”


    “As for potential environmental damage, the company said that all “non-persistent materials [LPG, marine gas and automotive gas] … are lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air.””

  157. Princess Cutekitten at #158:

    Me too! In fact it wasn’t just New Year’s, it was every Sunday. I recall riding my bike around downtown-Main Street Walnut Creek (SF Bay Area) on my bike in the mid-late ’60s, and almost everything was closed. One or two cars parked on the street, one or two people walking about. At least some grocery stores and gas stations did remain open.

    By the way, the Blue Star was the first book published by Lin Carter’s Adult Fantasy Series.

    Antoinetta III

  158. Steve, so noted! The edition of Proclus’ Elements of Theology, the book that convinced me he was worth very close reading, was translated by E.R. Dodds; I think it’s considered passé these days but it works for me.

    Pixelated, it bears remembering that before the fall of Rome, the ancestors of today’s Spanish lived in eastern Europe and the ancestors of today’s Hungarians lived in central Asia. Peoples move. Sometimes they move a very, very long distance!

    Robert, I’ve been having cheap fun with an e-book reader, downloading free editions of old books from the Project Gutenberg and Global Grey websites, and all four of Fort’s books are among them. I didn’t get to him originally until I was fourteen or so, after my mind had already been warped out of shape by John Keel’s giddy masterpiece The Mothman Prophecies, so he was good hearty fare. No, I didn’t know that blue stars cropped up in early Witchcraft! No surprises there, though — the interpenetration between fantasy fiction and the occult scene in 20th century America is an astonishing story as yet inadequately told.

    Tomxyza, nah, Faustian culture is simply the working out of one set of human possibilities — it’s shaped by the Deviation but not equal to it in any sense. That’s an interestying hypothesis; I’ll see if I can find the time to read the book. Thank you also for the sun-tracking sites!

    Ecosophian, that’s a useful way of putting it.

    Pixelated, too funny. Thank you.

    Antoinetta, huzzah for the astonishing Linwood Vrooman Carter!

  159. Jasper, I confess to having a pet peeve against “big picture” guys and gals who can’t seem to get simple details right. There does exist a list of Greek thalassocracies which begins with the Minoans, goes on through various sea-faring Greek cities ending, if I remember right, with Rhodes. Sparta was a land-based power which built itself a fleet when it needed one, just as Rome did during the Punic Wars.

    I recall one Merlin Stone, whose book has mercifully disappeared from sight, who tried to show by a fantastic chain of inference and supposition that the Sumerians came, must have come, from….you’ll never guess, Scandinavia.

    I already have a fairly long list of tasks to complete and books to read. Could you please explain what is the Kolibrin Bible, where and when was it found and who was or were its’ author(s)? I have no particular reason to “do my own research” on this topic, so maybe if you think this manuscript is important, you could tell us a bit more about it.

  160. @Princess Cutekitten re #158

    The same here. And the closed stores were all smaller. No Home Depot, no Walmart, no Lowes lighting up
    the night sky 24/7 like Las Vegas. The area where they are now used to be cow pasture with cows on them
    grazing in the summer. And instead of the occasional freight train coming through, I hear snowmobiles zooming on the places where the tracks used to be. *sigh*

    Have a peaceful low-key New Years, all!

  161. JMG, you mentioned Atlantean magic focused on sexual polarity. Do you/other occultists have any idea what Lemurian magic focused on? I seem to have an Atlantean experience of magic, at least in how my subtle senses operate, probably because of Dion Fortune’s work. I am curious what a Lemurian experience of magic would be. I’m making an assumption that the subtle senses can operate in a wide variety of ways as I don’t have the data points to know how universal my experiences are.

    HappyPanda, Thanks for your posts; I always find them highly interesting. I’ve been observing linearity and black and white thinking in others (not judgmentally for the most part), so your discussion of multiple incarnations occurring simultaneously is a good reminder that my mind still thinks in that way to a large degree.

    This is one of the most entertaining and informative comment sections of an ecosophia post I’ve seen so thank you everyone and Happy New Year!

  162. Concerning the fossil carbon, anthropocene and hypothetical previous civilizations, please read this:

    The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record? by Gavin A. Schmidt, Adam Frank, 10 Apr 2018
    Especially pages 17 and 18.

  163. Robert+Gibson: Following from Bei Dawei on soul-identity (#110) – one might suspect it could apply “horizontally” as well: that’s to say, a soul might have more than one body simultaneously, like a rich man might own several houses. Normally the person concerned would be unaware of this; only some kind of accident might bring the fact out.

    Greer: Robert, maybe so, but most of the time it seems to work in a much simpler, more straightforward, sequential manner.

    John you’ve said in the past that there seemed to be more people now that any time in the past. I’ve wondered about their souls.

    Typically you said souls take several hundred years off from the material realm to process their last life and its lessons. With the need for more and more souls to fill the new extra humans, I wonder if cutting that process time isn’t having detrimental affects.

    Much like going for too long without sleep can mess with you. As a college student I once tried to see how long I could go without sleep. IIRC I made it a bit over 5 days. Once I started to hallucinate and imagine things that clearly were not there, I ended the experiment. Maybe that explains the clearly “crazy” nature of many people now. Lack of down time between lives.

    Robert’s suggestion that souls are having to occupy multiple bodies might also explain some of it. People never perform at their best when they are multi-tasking. What do they say about texting and driving? Maybe we have a similar situation with the souls in the bodies now.

    I would also wonder if the souls of evolved animals not quite ready to take on human lives, being pressed into early service aren’t contributing? Like putting 15 year olds behind the wheel early sometimes ends with a broken fender.

    The past year has really felt like the 5th day of a sleep deprivation experiment for me.

  164. Beekeeper re: robo calls:

    Selling you something may not be the point. The person(s) behind your rash of robo calls might be just trolling for active phone numbers. The fact that you answer, or the number goes to a voice mail and connects, is valuable. That info and the list of active numbers can then be sold to other scammers who will then answer your “click 1”.

    I’ve been getting a rash myself, while I’m at work. I got a part time job over the holidays as a stocker at a big box store. When my phone rings, I reach in and press answer but leave it sitting in my pocket. Most of the time it goes disconnects but every once in a while I hear a tiny voice in my pocket asking “Hello, hello, anyone there?”

    I figure wasting their time, even if its just a minute, is worth it.

  165. Hi John,

    A couple of thoughts came to mind while reading this essay and the comments section.

    1} Your discussion of the Fall from an esoteric perspective and its association with Lemurian mages remind me a lot of traditions which describe Eden as a tropical paradise. Certainly sounds like Sundaland during the last glacial period. The serpent could be representative of the demonic forces that were summoned (and poisonous serpents would have been quite familiar to the inhabitants of Lemuria), while the Expulsion from Eden could be based on memories of the sea level changes that submerged Sundaland. Lots to ponder. I am currently working my way through Meditations on the Tarot by the Russian occultist Valentin Tomberg and have been finding some very interesting parallels between some of the topics he discusses and certain topics that you have brought up here and in other posts here and on Dreamwidth.

    2} Like you, I am puzzled by the persistence of the Clovis First hypothesis, especially in the face of overwhelming evidence it is wrong. Recent archaeological finds show the Native Americans have been here for at least 22,000 years, while linguistic and genetic evidence suggests they have been present in the New World for the last 25,000 to 35,000 years. Even more astonishing is a discovery by archaeologists in California of evidence for human habitation that has been dated to 130,000 years ago. That would place the earliest known human settlement in North America back to the early Eemian Interglacial and if your interpretation of esoteric prehistory is correct, that would be around the same time as the Polarian cycle. It’s amazing that so many in the scientific community remain wedded to such a demonstrably wrong, discredited and outdated hypothesis as Clovis First. The scientific community seems to have gotten trapped in its own orthodoxies and ideological biases in a number of different fields.

    Happy New Year to you, Sara and the commentariat!

  166. Happy Panda said:
    “I have read things from other gurus that say whenever someone dies your rebirth can go either way. That is, from a linear time perspective, one’s next rebirth could have you born in a year earlier than when you died! Just as the author of Rivulets recounts. Sometimes this can lead to concurrent lives. My next life might well also be alive right this minute somewhere else in the world and could either be older or younger than the current incarnation typing and submitting this for this week’s essay. But it would still legitimately be my “next life” in terms of karma.

    Sadhguru and other teachers I’ve studied all insist the universe does not operate according to humanity’s demands that it be logical. In fact, the higher you go in mystical dimensions the less logical it becomes until finally logic breaks apart.”

    That’s an interesting thought, that on the plane of the “between times”, time is not linear. That would definitely explain the thoughts I’ve always had that you have a “bucket list” of experiences that you need to do, to ascend from this material plane onto the next ones.

    I feel that we keep coming back to experience different facets of being human. So once you come back to be rich and famous, then the next life poor and unknown. After each life, your guiding spirit metaphorically sits down with you, and you both go over your lessons. If you learned them correctly then you cross that off, and move to the next lesson. If not, then you go back and try again.

    I would add that some of those lessons are in being bad (or what some might call evil). so you might come back to be a criminal or an abuser, to learn the lessons of why people do that.

    I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of a Hell you go to for eternal punishment, but I could see how you could get so corrupted (perhaps by outside influences like demons) that you step off the path. Maybe that is the true Hell.

    One thing I couldn’t mesh with this cosmos view was how would you gain perspectives of a human lesson of something that is no longer much practiced or a lifestyle not now common? The non-linear temporal nature of the re-incarnational experience would solve that.

    It would also answer my earlier question about having too many bodies right now, than souls to occupy them. I’ll have to meditate on this some.

  167. JMG, that’s true, though I think the same can be said about those who align themselves with the angelic or divine. ISIS comes to mind, as does the Roman Catholic Church. I’m sure you’re familiar enough with the Old Testament to have an idea of just how destructive & ruthless an angel can be. The common denominator here seems to be that those who regard themselves as unambiguously good are uniquely capable of the greatest evil. As a neutral observer of this epic cosmic struggle, I can’t help but see both sides as a bit barmy (okay, more than a bit).

    Princess Cutekitten, that never occurred to me, but you could be right. Dogs probably think more about what we do then we give them credit for.

  168. @JMG re: “the Celtic languages, for example, have a habitual sentence structure with the verb “to be” at the beginning, which is shared by no other Indo-European language and probably descends from the non-IE language spoken in that part of the world when the Celts arrived.”

    Ah, yes, McWhorter’s lovely description of why English requires ‘Did, done, do,” etc in certain phrases. Is it that we’re the only such language around the Celtic fringe of Europe? What do you think?”

  169. Youngelephant, if I recall correctly from the sources I’ve read, Lemurian magic is supposed to be ancestral to many of the magical practices of sub-Saharan Africa, so you might be able to get some sense of it from that source. Beyond that, though, I haven’t looked into it.

    A. Karhukainen, oh, sure — go back a hundred million years or so, and anything’s possible. I’ve wondered more than once if the greenhouse events and extinction crises of the Toarcian are (c. 180 million years ago) and the Cenomanian-Turonian transition (c. 93 million years ago) mark the rise and fall of technological species that burnt a lot of fossil carbon and suffered the consequences.

    David T, I’ve long thought that a lot of current psychological problems are being caused by too little time between lives. It would explain, among other things, why a lot of people feel that they’re somehow in the wrong body — they’ve still got dim memories of their former body, and lacking the explanatory model of reincarnation to help them understand that, they make sense of it as best they can. It also seems very likely to me that as the supply of complex nonhuman mammal bodies decreases and the supply of human bodies increases, a lot of souls are getting into human bodies before they’re really ready for the experience. Once the population decreases, that’ll resolve, but in the meantime it’s a mess.

    Galen, (1) the question in my mind is simply which expulsion from which relatively tropical region Eden might have been. It’s like the big question about flood legends — there have been lots of floods over the last 20,000 years, which one are we talking about? As for the Clovis First thing, all I can assume is that it’s driven by anti-Native American prejudice.

    Blue Sun, so noted!

    Sybok, I ain’t arguing. Human beings aren’t capable of being entirely good, and when they try, they typically start behaving monstrously in short order.

    Robert, you’re most welcome! I’ve pillaged them for old occult ebooks.

    Patricia M, by that same logic, French should have serious Celtic influence, since the Franks settled down in a Celtic population. So I have my doubts…

    A happy New Year to all! In case this detail has been missed, I’m not taking January off this year, so you can expect a new post next Wednesday and more odd discussions all month…

  170. @JMG

    “Do you recall the incident in the Book of Numbers where the Israelites get bitten by flaming serpents until Moses puts a serpent of brass on a pole in the middle of the camp? In the original Hebrew, the word for those fiery serpents is in fact “seraphim.””

    Indeed. I think even those occultists allow themselves to be influenced by the Scientific Materialist worldview at the time.

    If the God and God’s exist. What makes it so hard for them to create fruits like ambrosia or other ways to provide eternal youth? Or fruits that cause death or curses if you eat them.

    Its only that we don’t know how they work. So they look ridiculous. But just as flying looked miraculous once or electricity belonged in the supernatural realm. Once we understood them it stopped being so ridiculous in possibility.

    Its in reality just as ridiculous as holding an apple and preventing its fall due to gravity is somehow a violation of the law of gravity. The materialist assumes the impossibility of the person holding up the apple despite being not being immediately obvious himself.

    Whereas when people examined the very nature of Materiality itself. Finds that it has a spiritual basis.

    “I’d recommend a look at beehive architecture sometime. I don’t think the elegance of the construction can be described as merely utilitarian.”

    Indeed. This shows that I am wrong. I suppose its just my gripe with modernity. For such a “Civilization” it is lacking in that definition in many ways also. Can a dystopian urban environment be called a “Civilization”?

  171. @Nemo

    “The children wanted to redeem the “evil place,” as they called it, and reclaim their playground. They re-enacted the event. Then they re-ran it with a happy ending.”

    Did it work?

  172. @Steve T

    “There is a Biblical scholar named Michael Heiser who has done a lot of very good work over the last decade or so in uncovering the spiritual geography of the Old Testament and early Christianity, I wonder if you’ve read him?”

    He opened my eyes to the “Divine Council” that was always present in the Biblical Text. The “Bene Elohim” or “Sons of God” who were clearly present in the Book of Job who stand around God as his “Officials”

    Those same “Sons of God” who married human women and who gave rise to Mythic Heroes of Renown like “Gilgamesh”.

    I do wonder if those “Watchers” or “Annanuki” or the legends of people who were part Gods and part Man came from that.

  173. David, when the tiny voice in your pocket says “Hello? Hello?”—that would seem the ideal time to fart proudly.

    Farting at the calls I get would do no good, they’re all computers. 🙄. A computer doesn’t say “Hello? Hello?” There’s this pause with a faint hiss in the background, and THEN it says “Hello.”

  174. Hi John Michael,

    As to your essay a thought popped into my head: Just because demons are singing a song, doesn’t mean that you need to dance to their tune. There’s this thing called: self restraint. Not very popular these days, but it never went out of fashion. And it is not lost on me that the divide and conquer strategy has long played a role in human affairs. It’s getting a bit of airing right now. We can rise above the noise and stop being puppets. Such things only have power, if a person feeds them their power.



  175. Hm .. a dark question. If a land is cursed because of a demon caused death, is it stuck like that because a soul that has been wrongfully murdered is stuck in limbo with said demon (stuck between the two deaths?). Is that why reinacting the death with a positive outcome can heal the land? Because by doing that you open a path for the wrongfully deceased soul to move and that door to close. I ask because it lays greater importance on actually doing that work rather than simply avoiding that land although it strikes me as particulary hazardous work.

  176. These beings and their influence has been on my mind as of late. I have talked about them or about their influence as something that is an empty shell with sharp edges, such as a broken bottle on a seashore might be. It once served some purpose, but because it has not yet agreed to be recycled, it maintains some of its old structure, that does not accomplish anything useful anymore, because it is outdated. It has not evolved alongside the environment. It is obsolete. It should move on.

    So with that mind I have concluded some relationships can be of a demonic nature. A marriage that really should dissolve and release its energies for some more useful purposes is one example. Or it could be a way an organizations is functioning. A set of laws or rules that no longer accomplish their purpose, but still have tremendous staying power.

    In all of them there is that nature of unyielding rigidity. You can fight them, but only if you can face them without fear, accepting your own destruction in the process. You need to be filled with the divine light and act as its agent. Love is a mystery to them, the willingness to serve a higher purpose beyond the ego. They never understand it.

    Much off the mark here?

  177. John–

    Perhaps I’m misremembering, but as I recall, present humanity is the fifth round on the fourth Earth. If that’s correct, then we’re just past the nadir in terms of the decent into the material, which would have come with the fourth round of the fourth Earth. That means the Atlantean round would have been the “deepest” into the material, while we are basically parallel with the Lemurians (except on the ascent). Do I have this correct?

  178. JMG– I was unaware of the Dodds translation; maybe I was having a brain fart, but I think I had it in my head that Proclus was unavailable outside of the Taylor translations until recently. I usually prefer older translations, as they seem to have “tracks in space” laid down that make them easier to follow. I find that with Proclus specifically, the concepts that he works with are so unfamiliar that I need them explained to me in language that is as simple as possible!

    Elements of Theology also had a profound impact on me though– I read it two years ago and it opened up Neoplatonic thought for the first time. Funny enough, what led me to it was you and Mr. Warnock’s translation of Picatrix. I was meditating my way through that book, but once I’d made it about halfway through the book itself seemed to kind of grab ahold of me and say “Now go away, and don’t come back until you have a thorough grasp of Platonic philosophy.” I’m still working on it…

  179. @ Info– I had a similar experience with Heiser. If you aren’t familiar, there is also a pair of Eastern Orthodox priests working with the same ideas. They have a podcast called Lord of Spirits which is a lot of fun– (Orthodoxy isn’t my thing either, but it’s much closer to it than Protestantism!)

  180. Question: Does the spiritual evolution of squirrels ever overlap the spiritual evolution of humans? What I have noticed is that humans and elephants evolved side by side. So, does the spiritual evolution of one affects the spiritual evolution of the other?

    I tend to think that humans live in a Cosmic ecosystem that they affect, and in turn affects them.

  181. Regarding social insects, the most interesting thing about them to me is that we can look at them with a kind of god’s eye view. And this reveals all sorts of interesting things, and leads one to wonder exactly what you would see if you could look at human cities in the same way. There are, for example, spiders which look exactly like ants. They live inside of anthills and go about unnoticed by the other ants. Of course they are predators, and the ants are their prey; when it’s time to feed the spider corners an individual ant somewhere in the darkness below the earth, pierces it with his teeth and drains out all of its bodily fluids, leaving behind a desiccated husk.

    If the ants had any awareness of the spiders, what would it look like? Legends, perhaps, of men who are not really men, who corner you in the darkness and suck the life out of you?

    I once happened to observe a group of small brown ants feeding on a chunk of hot dog, when a large carpenter ant came down from a nearby tree. A fight immediately broke out. The brown ants swarmed the carpenter ant; the carpenter ant seized them one at a time in its jaws and dashed them to pieces on the sidewalk. But it seems the little ants were too many. After a time, the carpenter ant wandered away, seemingly in a daze. It met with one of its fellows; the two wiggled their antennae together, and the first ant died.

    We are told that insects don’t have emotions, but the second ant certainly seemed to be enraged. It charged into the crowd of brown ants and slew many of them. It never went for the hot dog, and it carried none of its victims back to its colony as food. It only wanted to kill. I counted 30 brown ants killed before its bloodlust was finally sated, and it made its way back to its tree.

    Is that what it looked like in Lemuria, when the giants turned up?

  182. Regarding multiple incarnations occurring simultaneously…that is a definite possibility, if certain parts of the soul incarnate separately or if multiple souls exist in the same body (as described in Heathen Soul Lore Foundations).

  183. @JMG re: Celtic influence on French – apparently not, then. Thanks for the answer; I was curious about that.

  184. Thanks for this post JMG.

    I want to offer a thought that connects Steve T’s dream at #16 with your final encouragement to take time just now to reflect on how we got here and what each of us can do about it. I was struggling with my PhD thesis when a lecturer told me that the earliest known use of the Greek word route connected to the word ‘analysis’ is used in Penelope’s story. Penelope was being pressed to accept a suitor and eventually said she would do so when she had finished her tapestry. Each night she got up secretly and undid what she had done during the day to put off finishing. Our English word analysis comes from that ‘undoing’ — tracing back. So Penelope is ‘tracing back’ what she had done. The encouragement was that I should believe that my ‘analysis’: showing how I had reached the conclusions in the thesis was going to be sufficient. I did manage to pass eventually.

    I remember that you have remarked in your Magic Mondays previously that it’s this reflective capacity in us as humans which most clearly separates us from the demonic entities who are unable to reflect and change. I think that in this process of going sane, one at a time, the reflective capacity to really look into our situations and think about how we got here is really important. It’s been one of my reflections on the recent difficulties that I value people being able to think and reflect for themselves, even and especially because people come to different conclusions for themselves, and that being part of such thoughful conversations is enlivening for me, and helps my own thinking develop. I have been making an effort to make those spaces in the conversations with my friends: encouragement to share their reflections about what is happening, and what is important, and why. This reflective capacity at best can help us develop our minds and work together to make our local communities function, it can even be a cradle for policy ideas and democratic processes.

  185. Info, equally, it would be possible for a god to make the Teddy Bears’ Picnic happen every year. I’m not sure that’s a sufficient reason to claim that it does. That said, myths are what they are, and as you find the Christian mythos more appealing than the occultist mythos I prefer, go ye forth and do that thing. As for dystopian urban environments, that’s how all civilizations end up in due time — human beings being what they are in the wake of the Fall, however that latter event happened, any other outcome seems to be out of reach.

    Chris, exactly. It’s precisely by rising above the noise that we reclaim our own humanity.

    Rose, it takes drastic action to get a soul stuck between the first and second deaths, and it’s very rare that such a thing happens even with demonic efforts involved. (Among other things, it usually requires the consent, and indeed the concentrated effort, of the soul.) When it does happen, yes, that’s an issue.

    Cicada, thanks for this.

    Oskari, not off the mark at all.

    David BTL, in the Theosophical scheme, yes, exactly.

    Steve, I was lucky enough to be given an old copy of the Dodds translation; it’s not widely available, and of course most of Proclus’ other work wasn’t done into English at all between Taylor’s time and the latest flurry of scholarship. So it wasn’t just a brain fart.

    Neptunesdolphins, I don’t happen to know, not being a squirrologist! 😉

    Steve, fascinating perspectives!

    Dishwasher, thanks for this! A very useful reflection on reflection…

    Patricia M, I think you underrate human stupidity…

  186. Steve T, you mentioned humans can view our social instincts from a far, sort of like a god. I don’t know if you’ve read God Emperor of Dune, which is the fourth book of the Dune series, but Frank Herbert plays with this idea pretty extensively. I’m probably going to end up meditating on some of his one liners soon.

    Neptunesdolphins, At a small college I used to attend squirrels were very bold and unafraid of humans. Probably because they were getting a lot of wasted food out of garbage cans. Also, the squirrels in the Grand Canyon I encountered were even bolder. They stole a granola bar from me… Anyway I think humans must effect their spiritual evolution in someway and vice versa. I have a sibling who used to be rather squirrel obsessed and I dated a girl with the same obsession. I think squirrels must have contributed to the evolution of their consciousness just by occupying space in it..they’ve certainly contributed to mine and I never had the same squirrel obsession. I use the word “obsession” in a positive way having always found people who liked squirrels rather endearing.

  187. Cicada Grove @ 195 Thank- you for the link. I found a most interesting article, but, in the last paragraph I read:
    “You must discard now, and you must discard your Phoenician overlords. They are the anchor tied to
    you, tied with a silver chain” Phoenicians. I guess we are into centuries long conspiracy theorizing territory. Unless Matthis means by the term ‘Phoenicians’ bankers or financiers or something like that. The actual, historic Phoenicians were long distance sailors and explorers and great engineers. They also did have some rather, to us, ghastly religious practices.

    I went to his site but all I could find were the articles on physics. Do you have some other link for his work?

  188. @JMG

    “As for dystopian urban environments, that’s how all civilizations end up in due time”

    Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece have their own versions of Uglicism? Or it is just decay?

  189. @JMG

    “Info, equally, it would be possible for a god to make the Teddy Bears’ Picnic happen every year. I’m not sure that’s a sufficient reason to claim that it does. ”

    True. While Empirical Rationalism does appear to be good at clearing up superstition. There is that side effect of throwing the baby out with the bathwater with the anti-supernaturalist materialism also.

    It ironically leads to the rediscovery of the Supernatural. But in a way that is quite Sci-fi. I suppose Sci-fi is just the Supernatural with more detail.

    For example the “Shroud of Turin” is still unable to be replicated by modern technology.

    “It should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watt”

    Or the regular miracle of the Holy Fire:

    Which occurs annually which the Orthodox spreads all around the world. Lit by a ray of blue plasma.

  190. You know reading this and some of the comments reminded me of the story of the tower of Babel. Is that a slices of the fall story or a knock on effect? Certainly so many ideas to think about. Experiencing our separation from heaven, we are then separated from each other too.

  191. Info, Uglicism is only one form of dystopian urban environments. Rome in late imperial times had gargantuan tenement buildings into which people were packed like sardines, and outside of a few upper class areas the city was a morass of filth, violence, and urban decay — think of what New York City would smell like with a less efficient sewer system and horsedrawn transport. As for miracles, sure — but they have a feature you don’t find in the Teddy Bears’ Picnic style of folktale: sheer weirdness. If it wasn’t sitting there in Turin, who would have imagined a linen shroud with a negative image of a crucified human body flash-printed on it? I consider that a criterion of authenticity: if it’s the product of human minds, it’ll follow human habits of thought and seem very predictable to us, while if it’s a product of nonhuman minds, it’ll seem unexpected and strange to us.

    Candace, it’s a much later event, after the postglacial floods, but it could certainly be seen as part of the same cascade of long-term consequences.

  192. Steve and JMG,

    The Dodds translation of Proclus’ Elements is very much available, still in print from the publisher, albeit now as a paperback. I purchased a brand new copy quite inexpensively only a few years ago.

  193. @JMG

    “Info, Uglicism is only one form of dystopian urban environments. Rome in late imperial times had gargantuan tenement buildings into which people were packed like sardines, and outside of a few upper class areas the city was a morass of filth, violence, and urban decay — think of what New York City would smell like with a less efficient sewer system and horsedrawn transport. ”

    Indeed I agree. Our time is unusual in its deliberate Uglicism rather than something arising from poor governance and lack of proper infrastructure.

    Perhaps disharmony is perceived by our senses as ugliness. And beauty is the visual and auditory perception of harmony. Those who are disharmonious in themselves will seek to make that physical reality as the modernist architects seemed to have done.

    Unhealthy people look more unpleasant than the healthy generally speaking. So it is with human configurations as a collective including the built environment and the interactions of the unique ecosystem of said urban environment.

    “As for miracles, sure — but they have a feature you don’t find in the Teddy Bears’ Picnic style of folktale: sheer weirdness. If it wasn’t sitting there in Turin, who would have imagined a linen shroud with a negative image of a crucified human body flash-printed on it? I consider that a criterion of authenticity: if it’s the product of human minds, it’ll follow human habits of thought and seem very predictable to us, while if it’s a product of nonhuman minds, it’ll seem unexpected and strange to us.”

    That would make sense. Although I am unaware of any technology that could replicate this so far. Have you read Jonathan Pageau’s articles on the nature of Miracles?

  194. @info – can’t speak for Greece, but Rome was filled with 5-story wooden tenements built on the cheap, and I can’t imagine they were any prettier than any other slum housing. We don’t think about it because they didn’t last. And a lot of today’s ugly buildings depend on a steel infrastructure, so, no.

    Though other stone-building civilizations did have massively brutal structures, IIRC.

  195. I just have to get this in before the next essay comes up. Reading this essay has reminded me once again that I hope JMG will write a New & Improved ( 😛 ) book on the soul’s journey back up the Planes. A sort of updated Rosicrucian Fundamentals if you will. Before he does so though I’m going to once again pimp Meher Baba’s God Speaks book. Plus, it fulfills one of JMG’s preferences – the author is dead.

    Anyway, what a fabulous book – especially with the posters, charts, etc. I loved that book but wow…the Sufi lingo was heavy-going. Thank goodness for the extensive glossary in the back.

  196. Hello JMG and others,
    I have visited the Alta Mira caves in northern Spain.
    This was a very moving experience. Archaeologists date the paintings and artefacts from 36,000 years ago. It struck me at the time that these were highly skilled and practised artists. Maybe they practised on wood, hides, in sand; all gone now. Absolutely wonderful. How anyone can think that we are somehow more “progressed” after seeing this baffles me. A different place than Lemuria, but gives a hint of what people were capable of then.

  197. @JMG

    JMG said: At some point before the seas started rising—nobody’s quite sure how long before that event—that sophistication enabled Lemurian mages to make contact with certain disembodied intelligent beings who had fallen behind an earlier cycle of evolution.

    I just re-read the essay and this snippet reminded me of something that shocked me watching one of Sri Arya’s Youtube vids. About being able to interact with “differently bodied” species as I put it or as you put it “disembodied intelligent beings”.

    Remember the book, The Eight Spiritual Breaths [ISBN: hb: 8193863208 or pbk: 818847990X ]? Sri Arya has his disciples do this regimen daily apparently with great success. One of the things that prompted him to make the video is one of his disciples (to her shock) was able to actually see a guardian spirit ( Dharmapala ) whenever she looked through her binoculars at a temple site while she was with a tourist group! It’s been a while since I watched the video but I think the tourist group was visiting an ancient spiritual site in Greece.

    Anyway, the guardian was clearly angry and growling. This site had been the site where the ancient people of the location would come to ritually discard their negative karma and it was overseen by a Steward Dharmapala. The problem is that New Age types around the world decided it was a great idea that THEY could also dump off their negative karma there willy-nilly. One without following any of the rituals that had been established by the ancient people who’s site it originally was. Two, that site was meant ONLY for those ancient peoples and nobody else. It was literally an In-Caste only site. Only for them because they had one of those Covenants with the guardian spirits that was for the benefit of people with a certain genetic code in their DNA to help them evolve back up the Planes.

    Yes, a similar kind of covenant as the Jews are famous for having with Yahweh. Sri Arya and Sadhguru both say such covenants with higher plane beings were common in an earlier age and were definitely NOT at all unique to the Jews. (They’re just the group that had the best PR campaign about it for their DNA group). It’s the original meaning and purpose of the term “Caste” – a temple that was literally strictly funded and maintained for that specific DNA group – a DNA that was of a certain kind of “Caste” or “Mold”). Hence anyone worshiping at a Caste-funded temple was literally an Out-Caste and the spiritual benefits of the temple wouldn’t work for them. They were literally an “Out-Caste/Out-Mold” – their DNA was of a different “mold”.

    Anyway, the rituals were all designed with care so that this ancient people’s negative karma was discarded in a responsible manner. If it’s not done responsibly all it does is pass the nasty karma and the nasty results it will bring off onto weaker, defenseless beings – including weaker, tourist humans who step into that location.

    Sri Arya said what the New Agey types were doing instead was the actual equivalent of taking a big, steaming dump on your neighbor’s lawn. Constantly. Yes, the actual equivalent of willy-nilly pooping daily all over your neighbor’s property. See it was part of one of the advertised benefits was that You Too could also dump off your negative karma there. Which the Sri Arya’s disciple participated in.

    Then she looked at the site through her binoculars later and got the shock of her life when she saw a huge Wolf-like Dharmapala growling menacingly at the group.

    Sri Arya said he was blown away by the story. Not because of the Dharmapala but because he said it floored him at the tremendous stupidity and ignorance that these tourist groups were doing this – as part of a business thing to hype tourist sales. It stunned him that people were doing this – including one of his own disciples. It was a big no-no. It floored him that he needed to actually give a Youtube talk about it because he said had he been in that tourist group it would never in a million years have occurred to him to dump (literally poop) his own negative karma off onto another people’s site for their spiritual upliftment. Yes, he put it that strongly he was so blown away at the stupidity. The people pooping all over that site will get the results and it won’t be pretty.

    He laughed and said he did admit he was amazed the Dharmapala was still on the job thousands of years long after the original people he was protecting were gone. So his talk was about something as basic as “don’t poop on other people’s spiritual sites!” (yes, he really did stress it was the precise equivalent to cr*pping every day on a neighbor’s property and it WILL deliver nasty blowback to every one of those tourists who did it).

    The other take away he mentioned is that at least his disciple was doing the breath practice correctly because it was beginning to awaken her ability to see beyond the normal, muggle, human range. She rolled up her sleeves and worked at it daily…something most people are too lazy to do.

    Hmm….now that I think about it…maybe it would be a good talk to provide as a transcript? What do other people think about this? JMG, would you be interested in this talk as a transcript? It would be after I finish the one on Aurobindo of course.

  198. Oops…

    Short edit to this sentence in my Dharmapala post.

    It should read as:

    Hence any stranger worshiping at an ethnic-funded temple was literally an Out-Caste and the spiritual benefits of the temple wouldn’t work for them.

    The point being that such temples would only work for a certain ethnic group because it was designed to work with that group’s DNA (“their Caste”). India used the analogy of casting a mold when referencing things we call DNA-karma today.

  199. Hi John Michael,

    Yes, it seems obvious to me too. You’d think that people would hear the sales pitch, compare that to the after sales reality, then say: ‘No thanks’. But no. I have no idea what to make of that, but then I guess that having expectations that there is an edge to be had is all part of the sales pitch. The big J spoke truly when he was quoted as saying: ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.’ Of course that was simply just one path to get to rise above the noise.

    Hey, the tide is turning on the recently introduced narrative which dare not be named. That’s a relief. I assume that you are reading this in between the lines? What I like about it all is that there are hangers on, whom clearly benefited from the arrangements. Hmm. Something, something, backlash.

    But what, dare I say it, interests me, is that I reckon that they’re really going to try to tackle inflation soon the only way they know how. We shall soon discover who was over extended, and in over their heads. Mate, I’ve been prudent and conservative for the past quarter century, and I must say, it has its rewards, but overall as a strategy it has not been rewarded. We shall soon see how that plays out. Are you watching that space?



  200. Just curious about the souls working through their human forms in one era. I would assume that they do their cycles as less complex organisms through a much longer time frame though. Perhaps that would impart some sort of deep cellular memory of by-gone eras?

    Glad to hear you’re not taking January off, for my own selfish reasons! Lots to sort through these days, and I for one get so much from your guidance.

    All our best for this new year,
    Grover (and Jess)

  201. JMG: “The thought that seership could be used to do an end run around the limits to human knowledge Kant had traced out was very tempting to enthusiastic thinkers at that time. Unfortunately those limits apply just as forcefully to clairvoyance or, shall we say, imaginative consciousness, as they do to every other mode of human experience.”


    Will you be expanding on these hard limits to human knowledge in subequent posts? Steiner was mentioned briefly in the last one, and no doubt is one of the “occultists” you are referring to here, so I am wondering specifically about your response to his phenomenology and epistemology (which are one and the same), laid out most clearly in Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (but also in other works like Goethean Science), and Chapter VII – “Are There Limits to Knowledge”? As you know, he directly addressed the “critical idealism” of Kant and Schopenhauer. I have yet to come across a convincing rebuttal to his arguments by those who adhere to the Kantian epistemic tradition of idealism.

  202. Happy Panda: I would love to read a transcript of that talk. But I can only imagine the freakouts from the anything goes, plastic shaman types when they hear there’s a tradition or place or practice that doesn’t want them there.

  203. @ JMG – I had not considered divination. Keeping in mind that I’m a noob at this kind of thing, what should I do? Who should I read or contact?

  204. @Patricia Mathews

    “can’t speak for Greece, but Rome was filled with 5-story wooden tenements built on the cheap, and I can’t imagine they were any prettier than any other slum housing. We don’t think about it because they didn’t last. And a lot of today’s ugly buildings depend on a steel infrastructure, so, no.

    Though other stone-building civilizations did have massively brutal structures, IIRC.”

    At least Sandstone is comparatively better color than modern grey concrete. If I must have concrete I rather than rust red or yellow sand rather than grey like moonrock. Brighter colors rather than the dull.

    But then again its unprecedented for such bad architecture to be elevated on such a high pedestal as it is in modern culture.

    They certainly weren’t valued in pre-modern cultures and left to the poor.

  205. Barefootwisdom, delighted to hear this! Thank you.

    Info, I think there’s more to Uglicism than the personal disharmony of the artists and architects projecting itself on their creations — though of course that’s a factor. The entire basis of the modern managerial state is that the managerial caste is the smart people and everyone else is stupid. Since this isn’t the case — people get into the managerial caste via rigid conformism and ambition, and are no smarter than anyone else — they have to parade around signals that show that they get it and others don’t. That’s the point of modern art and architecture. “If you think it looks butt-ugly, that just shows that you’re not smart enough to see how meaningful it is” — that’s their line. As for miracles, of course we don’t have technological means of doing that — we’d have to imagine such a technology first, and since it doesn’t make sense to us…

    Panda, so noted!

    Stormer, excellent. It’s worth nothing that the “cave man” of modern folk mythology is an imaginary creature; several scholars have pointed out that the whole “cave man” image was manufactured out of mythology. Why do cave men wear skins and carry clubs? Because Hercules is shown that way in art. No, I’m not kidding…

    Panda, that makes perfect sense. One of the things that appalls me about the stupidity of modern pop spirituality types is that they so often blindly assume that they can mess with the subtle spiritual technologies of ancient times even though they have no clue about the first principles involved. That won’t have good consequences — for them, or for anyone else. Please do make a transcript of that talk, when you have a chance — it might help a clue or two sink in somewhere.

    Chris, I am indeed watching the narrative crumple, and rubbing my hands together with a certain amount of glee. As for tackling inflation, well, yes. I forget who it was who said, “When the tide goes out, you get to see who’s been swimming naked.” And it’s not always an appetizing sight…

    Grover, yes — we may be human now but we spent a long time doing the less complex animal forms, while other souls figured out how badly they could screw up once they got reflective intelligence!

    Tidlösa, thanks for this. I’ll check it out when I get the spare time.

    Ash, I plan on discussing Steiner in future posts, but I’m not yet sure if that’s one of the things I’ll be discussing at length, since the differences between his monist idealism and the Schopenhauerian critical idealism I prefer derive from first principles, and I’ve never seen an argument about those that went anywhere but around in circles. (There’s a case to be made, I think, for the suggestion that every philosopher’s account of the world is ultimately an autobiography, and the only proper response to one that seems false is “Well, that’s not how the world appears to me.”) What impresses me about Steiner is the energy with which he explored the possibilities that come open when you develop and use the imagination as an instrument of perception; if he made mistakes as a result, and overstated his case now and then, that’s a common issue with pioneers, and those who come after are tasked with correcting those problems and mapping out the territory that’s been opened up.

    Ben, hmm. There are a couple of readers here and on my Dreamwidth journal who’ve offered free divinations, but I don’t happen to remember who. Anyone else?

  206. @JMG, in response to Vala #29:

    “… they know perfectly well that there are urban ruins in areas that were above water in the ice ages, and nobody wants to deal with the can of worms that will be opened if those are officially recognized.”

    This does not make sense to me. Archaeologists choose their vocation for the love of history and the dream of discovery. I’ve known a few personally; some are worker bees who want to attach to a funded dig somewhere with reasonable weather and not too many hostile fauna, but an equal number would die for the opportunity to be the next Howard Carter.

    Underwater work is expensive, but these days there is a LOT of money chasing counternarratives. This has been the case for at least a couple decades now.

    More generally, I guess I struggle with stories like this which follow a common pattern: open secrets, common knowledge among the disempowered, etc, where if the truth were known more widely, the economic or social interests of the powerful would be harmed.

    It’s appealing! But doesn’t it also pander to our weaknesses and self-doubts? We are not the ruling class, but we are better/smarter/etc in some small but important way! Or, if we believe them to be illegitimate and their grasp on power to be fragile, we can imagine that disrupting it might bring more of the good stuff to ourselves instead, or at least to someone new and more deserving than the current bunch of cretins.

    I used to devour this narrative, but nowadays I struggle. When the basis for belief is predominantly how strongly it elevates my beliefs or myself (for knowing better), or diminishes others (for benefiting from the informational inequality), I have to question the convenience of it all.

    My faith is a process. No disrespect intended to anyone who believes with greater fervor than I.

  207. Jmg, since we are talking about literature pertaining lost continents and their former inhabitants I may as well re-mention “Star.Ships” by Gordon white, the blogger of
    He has compiled a lot of information concerning history and archeology that orthodoxy doesn’t accept, including sundaland.
    Relating to sundaland, he mentions the following
    -genetic evidence suggests that various genes involving malaria resistance seem to originate there, as well as a lot of evidence for denisovan interbreeding
    -a lot of linguists can’t find evidence that austronesian languages are descended from a mainland Asian language.
    -rice possibly could have been first cultivated in sundaland.
    -the famous Gunung Padang pyramid in Indonesia may have been made as late as 20,000 BCE.

  208. Jeff Russell

    “Basically, Jones argues that big cats, snakes, predatory birds, and fires posed the greatest threats to our primate forebearers”

    I once read about an experiment that sought to show that monkeys have an instinctive fear of snakes. Baby monkeys, lab bred with no experience beyond their cages were used. When exposed to a rubber snake they became extremely agitated. Presumably the experiment was controlled by exposing them to other novel but otherwise neutral objects.

    It was a rather unpleasant thing to do to baby monkeys, but not as bad as Fauci and the beagles.

  209. John–

    Working within the structure of Theosophy and given the symmetry noted earlier, is there anything that we can deduce re the nature of the cycles? How did the nadir of the descent in the material manifest in the Atlantean cycle? In what way is our present cycle paralleling the Lemurian? But also how is it different? (If I recall correctly, ours would be more conscious than theirs, as that awakening was part of the reason for the descent into materiality in the first place.) Is there anything we can say about the nature of the sixth and seventh rounds given what (little) we know of the Hyperborean and Polarian cycles?

    Is there any lore on this that you know of?

  210. @JMG re: ugly buildings as a status symbol. Didn’t Hans Christian Andersen write a nice little parable about that? Although in his case, it was only the Emperor who was so detached from reality. We need to recruit some small boys to shout out the truth to the entire street in the middle of the parade.

    And – OT – David Kaiser have proven without saying it outright that every president since Pappy Bush and several serious presidential candidates, have been the 2nd (and 3rd,4th,5th, and 6th) coming of Pappy Bush. And opens by quoting Thucydides on the same situation in his day.
    Supplemental reading: Last of the Wine, by Mary Renault. Soundtrack, “Where have all the flowers gone.” a.k.a. “it doesn’t take a meteorologist to know which way the wind is blowing.”

  211. klcooke, there’s plenty of videos on the internet of people surreptitiously placing cucumbers or other snakelike objects behind their cats. At least some cats reliably freak out when they see the cucumber despite a cucumber never doing anything to them.

  212. JMG, as I was discursively unpacking your phrase, “look through [narratives], rather than at them, toward sources of evidence”, a metaphorical image sprang to mind by way of analogy: the stereogram–those pixelated works of “art” meant to be stared at a bit cross-eyed until one gets the knack for perceiving a depth dimension in them, at which point a 3-d hologram is revealed.

    I also saw a process of ‘darwinian’ narrative sedimentation: stories that “stick” across millenia of oral transmission being compressed as details become more symbolically evocative, producing myths (stories that never were, but always are), when interacted with by those that have the knack, in a kind of narrative holography.

    Thanks for another thought-provoking essay!

  213. @JMG

    The modern managerial State is unprecedented in history in that case. Only possible with fossil fuels.

    It is disappointing that all this potential provided by unprecedented energy doesn’t result of stunning architectural feats of beauty unrivaled by any civilization in history.

    @Patricia Mathews

    “ugly buildings as a status symbol. Didn’t Hans Christian Andersen write a nice little parable about that? Although in his case, it was only the Emperor who was so detached from reality. We need to recruit some small boys to shout out the truth to the entire street in the middle of the parade.”

    A strange inversion. Good is Evil and Evil is Good as decried and cursed by God in Isaiah: “Woe to those who call Good Evil and Evil Good, who put sweet for bitter and bitter for sweet” (Isaiah 5:20)

    When “Woe” is declared on someone. They are cursed.

  214. @Happy Panda

    “Yes, a similar kind of covenant as the Jews are famous for having with Yahweh. Sri Arya and Sadhguru both say such covenants with higher plane beings were common in an earlier age and were definitely NOT at all unique to the Jews. (They’re just the group that had the best PR campaign about it for their DNA group).”

    True. But then again. The Hebrew Bible does contain what it claims to be the history of all mankind and this God is the God of all mankind.

    From Adam to Noah who was the Forefather of all the present post-flood world.

    Until the rebellion at the Ziggurat of Babel located in the City of Eridu in Mesopotamia seeking to build said pyramid to reach the heavens:

    This God not only causing united mankind to split up into the various nations but also divorcing all mankind from himself.

    Only to start again with Abraham who assured God of his loyalty by being willing to sacrifice his son but stopped from doing so by substitution by a Ram.

    Then Israel was to be a light to the nations and an example and then to be a vehicle of reconciling mankind to himself.

    Its not simply PR but because it is their mission to the world that made such a religion widespread.

  215. This leads me to wonder what the Polarian and Hyperborean (and Lemurian before demonic contact) civilizations were like. Given your definition of civilization as a means of replacing violence with repression, what motivation would there have been for forming complex societies without the desire for individual power we acquired from the demons?

  216. @info(#241):

    As to survivors of the Biblical Flood, it’s not all that simple.

    In the current Hebrew text of Genesis, Methusalah, the longest-lived of the Biblical Patriarchs, died in the year of the Flood. However, the current Jewish Hebrew text is a Rabbinic reworking of older forms of the text, and it has clearly been “cleaned up” to remove some inconsistencies. This is made clear beyond any scholarly doubt by comparison of it with the other surviving pre-Christian, non-Rabbinic texts of the Tanakh, namely, the Samaritan Hebrew text and the Egyptian Jewish Greek text (the “Septuagint”).

    If memory serves me rightly, in at least one of these other two versions — I forget at the moment which of the two — Methuselah survives the Flood by a fair number of years.

    So if one is told that at least Methuselah survived the flood, one may ask whether other peoples not in Noah’s Ark — descendants of Cain perhaps, among others — also survived the Flood. This makes the Biblical claim that all of us are descdended from Noah problematic, to say the least.

    Always and in every case, if one wants to argue from the “Old Testament” (as Christians call it), one has to reckon with three or more forms of the text, all equally authoritative by historical criteria. (Theologians’ efforts to treat just one of these three variant forms as authoritative, or even as Divinely inspired, are historically unfounded.)

  217. #241. @Info

    Yes, I agree that is the claim Judaism has long made. I don’t really know what to make of it or how accurate that claim is. Just strictly speculating – I have zero evidence for the following – I have wondered that if there is truth to such a claim it might be a contributor to the fact Jews-as-an-ethnic-group had a hard time over many prior centuries being able to stay in any one place for a long time. They were often aware of living within a larger culture of which they were always constantly ‘outsiders’ to some degree. In other words, there might have been a high “shakti-cost” to being the “light of the world” if they wanted Yahweh’s spiritual assistance to move back up the Planes. The universe can do things like that. You always get ALL of the results from a decision you act upon, not just the parts of it you really like and desire. That whole “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it” could very well be in operation for them even today.

    Anway, they would stay in such and such place until circumstances get shaky…move out to a new location and new peoples and the “messenger-prophet-esque” role amongst a new “out-caste/non-Jew-DNA” peoples gets repeated. And this has happened over and over and over for a very long time. If this Covenant was real – and since hearing other gurus talk about it being quite common throughout the ancient world – I am more willing to consider Yahweh may indeed be a legit Higher Plane Being. Though I disagree with Judaism that this being is THE head honcho uber alles everywhere since this is a claim that would outrank even a “solar logos” of our entire material plane universe, not just the Milky Way galaxy.

    Anyway…as I was saying, if this role is real I suspect it came along with a very high shakti cost for that ethnic group. Possibly one were if they get to keep their “messenger-prophet-esque” role to the world they do not get to have a ‘home’ Jew-Only land for very long. That would make the current land of Israel a very temporary respite – quite possibly because modern 20th century communications (radio, tv and now the internet) made physically moving amongst other people less necessary. Also, Christianity gave a huge amount of assistance in that regard too without which Jews would be just another small middle-eastern tribe amongst many instead of the most famous of them. As modern mass communication options retreat I wonder if the covenant will once again see them dispersing (possibly en mass?) from their current nation-state.

    Interestingly, Yogiraj Satgurunath gave a talk a few years back about Sri Aurobindo wherein Aurobindo said ALL of the world’s continent-spanning-religions are disappearing on the higher, subtle planes (Yogiraj agreed with that – apparently having seen it directly for himself). The Higher Plane support for all of the multi-continent religions like Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Hinduism, etc is all disappearing. All are scheduled to dwindle in the new Age that’s dawned. At least this is what high level yogis see when they sit in Samadhi.

    If Judaism survives this then I suspect it’s going to do so by reverting to it’s original role. It will once again shrink to become a religion solely for Jews-as-a-tiny-ethnic-tribe only and quite possibly new possibilities as a people may open up for them because of it. I wonder if it means the terms of that part of their covenant will have been fulfilled and a new phase will begin? I suspect something similar will happen to All of the continent-spanning religions. They’ll likely all revert to being the practices of certain small groups or tribes of people who faithfully and diligently keep that religion for themselves but the age of large-scale proselytizing and huge-continent-spanning religious expansion is rapidly disappearing on the subtle planes according to some yogis (Aurobindo and Yogiraj among them it seems).

  218. Olive, I’ve given you a source for the comment that I made. (If it’s too much trouble to page back, it was in Meet Me In Atlantis by Mark Adams.) If you want to disagree with that, by all means, but (a) I did give my source, and (b) I’ve had far more than enough contact with the academic world to know that there are topics that are poison for your career. Atlantis is one of those. If you want to know how the archeological community reacts to people who stray out of accepted boundaries, please research what happened with all those well-documented excavations in earlier decades that turned up evidence for a human presence in the Americas before the Clovis culture. I’ll warn you — it’s not a pretty sight.

    J.L.Mc12, it’s on my “get to when time permits” list.

    David BTL, those are rich and complex topics! There are various schemes for making sense of the sevenfold pattern in Theosophical literature, but offhand I can’t think of anything that applies them to big historical cycles. It could be a fruitful subject for further study and writing.

    Patricia M, oddly enough, I was thinking of that same fairy tale! And the endless rehash of G.W.H. Bush is typical in a failing political system…

    Jeanne, thanks for this.

    n0rway, hmm! Those both work very well. Thank you.

    Info, good heavens, of course not. I can’t think of a case in which extravagant unearned wealth ever turned into anything but a curse.

    RPC, we don’t know. We simply don’t know.

  219. @ #243. Robert Mathiesen said:

    In the current Hebrew text of Genesis, Methusalah, the longest-lived of the Biblical Patriarchs, died in the year of the Flood. However, the current Jewish Hebrew text is a Rabbinic reworking of older forms of the text, and it has clearly been “cleaned up” to remove some inconsistencies.

    Hmm…you reminded me of a book I’ve long wanted to read. It’s called
    Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites Its History by Marc B. Shapiro [ISBN: 1904113605 ]

    I tried once to get my library to buy it but they said it was no longer available from their contracted suppliers. By the time I found out everything was in lockdown and inter-library loan is no longer available at my library system anymore.

    Here’s what some of what I read about the book said:

    Changing the Immutable focuses on how segments of Judaism’s Orthodox society have taken it upon themselves to rewrite the past by covering up and literally cutting out that which does not fit their own world view. For reasons ranging from theological considerations to internal religious politics to changing religious standards, such Jewish self-censorship abounds, and author Marc B. Shapiro discusses examples from each category. His analysis is illustrated by a number of images of the original texts next to their censored versions, together with an explanation of what made them problematic and how the issue was resolved. Shapiro considers the concepts of history that underlie such changes, looking at how some Orthodox historiography sees truth as entirely instrumental. Drawing on the words of leading rabbis, particularly from the haredi world, he shows that what is important here is not historical truth, but a truth that leads to observance and faith in the Sages.

    He concludes with a discussion of the concept of truth in the Jewish tradition, and when this truth can be altered. Changing the Immutable also reflects on the paradox of a society that regards itself as traditional, but, at the same time, is uncomfortable with some of the inherited tradition, and thus feels the need to create an idealized view of the past. Shapiro considers this in context, detailing precedents in Jewish history dating back to talmudic times. Since the objects of censorship have included such figures as Maimonides, Bahya ibn Pakuda, Rashi, Naphtali Herz Wessely, Moses Mendelssohn, the Hatam Sofer, Samson Raphael Hirsch, A. I. Kook, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and J. B. Soloveitchik, as well as issues such as Zionism, biblical interpretation, and attitudes to women and non-Jews, Shapiro’s book also serves as a study in Jewish intellectual history and how the ideas of one era do not always find favor with later generations.

    *** “Just two weeks after its publication, Shapiro’s book is the number-one bestseller on Amazon in its category – a notable accomplishment for an academic book that includes (untranslated) rabbinic rulings, talmudic texts, and medieval commentaries.” — New Jersey Jewish News, May 2015

    *** “This is a fascinating book because Marc Shapiro is a professional historian, and to a historian nothing is more important than the facts, but he is also an Orthodox Jew, and so he understands that for an Orthodox Jew there are some values that trump the recording of the facts.” — Rabbi Jack Riemer, South Florida Jewish Journal, June 2015

    *scratches nose*

    Looks like Christians are not the only ones who occasionally alter or re-arrange their sacred scriptures.

  220. @ info re: #189 —

    Don’t know — read the article long ago. It described the parents something like “refugees who’d been through God-only-knows-what.” The parents were appalled when their children began to improvise a ritual — which, when you think on it, is just what they were doing.

    Kids have such energy and imagination. Think you’re right, though, that a playground shooting would take professional un-cursing. Do hope that there were specialists who were able to cleanse the space.

  221. Happy Panda at #244:

    “I have wondered that if there is truth to such a claim …” Even if there was no truth to it, merely making the claim would be sufficient to engender a strong negative reaction among a region’s general population. It is the same as going around with one’s nose in the air and saying “I’m better than all you poor fools. I have a special deal with God himself, and as for you schmucks that don’t; well too bad for you.”

    Not the best attitude to create a positive relationship with one’s much more numerous neighbours.

    Antoinetta III

  222. @Happy Panda (#246):

    Very much so. Your examples are from a different period in history, but the principle is universally applicable. Indeed the processes are still going on today, particularly with respect to the long-established Jews of Ethiopia (the Falasha), who were mostly evacuated from Ethiopia and resettled in Israel a few decades back through a rapid military operation,

    In Ethiopia Judaism has been non-Rabbinic from its earliest days onward. In many respects it is also pre-Rabbinic, with–for example–animal sacrifices on altars of an ancient pattern (with horns to which the sacrifice was bound) that had been set up in high places. These Jews knew no Hebrew (and had no Mishna or Talmud, nor indeed any Rabbis), but they read their Scriptures in Old Ethiopic (Gǝ’ǝz). Their Scriptures also included old Jewish books such as I Enoch that were long, long ago excluded from canonical Scripture by the Rabbis.

    Once the Falasha were resettled in Israel, their non-Rabbinic sort of Judaism proved deeply unacceptable to the Israeli religious establishment, which refused to grant it much legitimacy. The legal and cultural pressures put upon the Ethiopian Jews to abandon their native form of Judaism and conform to Rabbinic norms are said to have been immense, and to still be going on. I don’t doubt that they will be mostly successful in a generation or two more, alas! when the descendants of the resettled Falasha will be studying Hebrew instead of Gǝ’ǝz as their sacral language.

    (NB This sort of thing is one of the many, many downsides to the ever increasing ease and rapidity of long-distance transportation and communication that has happened over the last century and a half.)

    I haven’t looked into the ages of the Patriarchs before Noah in the Ethiopic text of Genesis (I can’t read Gǝ’ǝz, unfortunately), but it wouldn’t surprise me if Methusalah had outlived the Flood in the Gǝ’ǝz version, too.

  223. @Nemo(#247):

    Wittgenstein, upon reading Frazer’s The Golden Bough, was moved to add one more definition of the Human to Aristotle’s classical ones: Humans, he said, are not just “rational animals” or “bipedal walking animals,” but “ceremonial animals.”

    There are about 20 children on our block, all under 13 years of age, and they all play together outdoors (weather permitting). Much of their play consists of small rituals, mostly improvised, but a few learned from their peers elsewhere, or perhaps from their parents. Even the few that have been handed down by tradition are somewhat changed from what they were when I was a boy so long ago. The first verse of “Pop Goes the Weasel” now sings “around the mulberry bush” instead of “around the cobbler’s bench,” and the second verse seems to have gone lost entirely. When I told some of them that there was a second verse, too, and how it went, they were fascinated, but–quite rightly!–continued to use their own form of the ritual words in their own play.

    And these children like their rituals because they get power from them, or so it seems to me as I watch them at their play. They are using this power of their rituals chiefly to shape the older versions of themselves that they are quite deliberately working hard to become. They are not “just” playing for the fun of it, though they are also having fun.

  224. @Robert Mathiesen

    I consider the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint as more reliable. The Masoretic Text did a lot of editing out of the passages of the more Ancient Manuscripts.

    So there is that which may cause those factors you have explained in your comment.

  225. @Happy Panda

    “In other words, there might have been a high “shakti-cost” to being the “light of the world” if they wanted Yahweh’s spiritual assistance to move back up the Planes. The universe can do things like that.”

    I don’t think that is quite true. They were looking forward to a future resurrection as the Pharisees did in Christ’s time but not the Sadducees.

    Its not about escape but the remaking of Heaven and Earth. Where God dwells among Men on the recreated Universe.

    The Pharisees succeeded over the Sadducees.

    Christianity in its incarnated Messiah. Is symbolically the joining of Heaven and Earth. Not the escape from Matter but the Divinization of Matter.

    Also known as Theosis. In Christology. Jesus Christ is both Truly Man and Truly God but united in “Hypostatic Union” as affirmed in the Council of Chalcedon.

    Therefore the Divine Revelation includes the Glorification and perfection of the Human body into becoming a “Spiritual Body” Basically the Theosis of Matter that is many times superior to the ideal of the Olympian Gods that Greeks liked to imagine their Gods.

    Its not about moving into a higher plane but the joining of said plane with this lower plane of matter.

    That understanding in your statement of escaping from the lower Plane to the Higher Plane perpetually is actually what the Gnostics misunderstand Christianity to be in one of many ways.

    As much as the so called ideal of Androgyny where Male must become more Female and vice versa in a strange perverse abstract idealism.

    Whereas properly understood. Both Male and Female remains distinctive. But each participates in the energies of the other and becoming united that way through sexual union without losing its distinctiveness.

    Being an analogy of the higher truth of Theosis. God being wedded to the Church.

    In the same way Humanity participates in the energies of God(Sharing in the Divine Nature) without sharing his essence that literally is becoming part of the Godhead. Because creature cannot ever become the uncreated.

  226. @Nemo

    “Think you’re right, though, that a playground shooting would take professional un-cursing. Do hope that there were specialists who were able to cleanse the space.”

    I think there are. They just need to be contacted so that the space becomes usable again.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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