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Prometheus the Film – Thematic Confluences

(original posting date: July 3, 2012 01:11)

Introduction

As I write this, director Ridley Scott’s newest film, Prometheus, is still making the rounds at the theaters. However, it’s already clear that this film does not enjoy the same level of mass audience appeal as his 1979 science fiction horror film classic, Alien. For many, the first film in the Alien franchise set the standards bar for that particular genre – Prometheus is certainly a decent film with film-watching entertainment value, but Alien remains secure within its claim of top position of the sci-fi horror genre.

There are other kinds of rewards to be garnered in a watching of the film Prometheus, though. However, you will not find any film critics of the conventional ilk making note of what those rewards are. Well known film critic Roger Ebert is illustrative, in this article, just how clueless conventional critics are when it comes to a film that has a primary purpose of putting forth certain thematic concepts into mass consciousness. Even on the contextual basis that Ebert editorialized this particular take on the film’s content (which he presses the film into service of an ideological political agenda – Ebert is a very political kind of guy, I know as I follow him on Twitter), he even gets that completely wrong; painfully obvious elements in the film refute his particular take-away.

The political arena is a completely inappropriate one to be in when examining any of the themes of this film anyway. The conventional film critics should all just step aside and let those with a better equipped background (esoterica) handle this one. The usual reasons, to go see a film, are not the most relevant ones here. When I went to see this film, there were those in the audience that were there with very much the same motivations as me – what interesting (and perhaps provocative) things is Ridley Scott out to try and say with this film?

Ancient Astronaut Theory of Origin of Life (and Humanity)

The provenance of alternative history researchers, the Ancient Astronaut Theory (AAT) as explanation for the origin of life on Earth, or specifically the origin of the species Homo Sapiens, is a front and center literal depiction in this movie. An alien race of technologically advanced space traveling humanoids, dubbed as the ‘Engineers’ by the human characters in the film, are the responsible agents. Later on in the film, the arch protagonist, scientist Elizabeth Shaw (played by Swedish/Icelandic actress Noomi Rapace), discovers that human DNA is derivative from the DNA of the Engineers. This alien race is thus the progenitor of our own species. An Earth girl could conceivably have an Engineer’s baby, so to speak.

This is the great center piece concept that the film intends to inculcate into the minds of the mass audience that is assured to come to see a Ridley Scott film (especially one built up with the hype and anticipation that Prometheus enjoyed). There is nothing at all subtle in the presentation of this concept by the film – no one in the audience will miss this fundamental edifice of the Prometheus narrative. It is literally related – no symbolic decoding required whatsoever.

Prometheus is now saying it all out in the open

My entire motivation to write any manner of analysis on Prometheus the film is that I see the narrative and thematic details that it relates as essentially an out in the open disclosure of the occulted back story that was told in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner film of 30 years ago. So from my esoteric point of view, Prometheus actually has much more in common with the 1982 Blade Runner film that it does the 1979 Alien movie. I’m going to mark out the comparative overlaps between Prometheus and my decoding of Blade Runner so a reading of Blade Runner – An Astro-Gnostic Fable (of the past – not the future) is a prerequisite for what follows.

Prehistoric Shaman and Ancient Cave Art Work

The human side of the narrative tale in Prometheus begins with an archeological discovery in a newly found cave depicting the artwork of some prehistoric tribal shaman. What is illustrated in this ancient cave artwork is significant in that it shows our human forbears having knowledge pertaining to our extraterrestrial creators going back in human history tens of thousands of years.

In the section of my prior Blade Runner article dealing with the symbolism of the owl, I relate how humanoid owl imagery has been found depicted in cave artwork dated to 15 thousand years ago. What ancient prehistoric shaman experienced then in their consciousness-altered state, employing hallucinogenic mushrooms, references the same imagery as described in contemporary UFO abduction cases – the visage of the humanoid owl. Thus in Blade Runner the symbolic device of the owl turns out to be a kind of linkage to the most ancient times of expressive human artifacts – shamanic cave artwork.

It’s unlikely there was any intentional linkage here on the basis of the owl vis a vis cave artwork. It is merely a kind of emergent indirect connective thread that after the fact is discernible. My decoding of Blade Runner ended on prehistoric cave artwork – Ridley Scott’s Prometheus inaugurates its human-related story from prehistoric cave artwork.

Sumer/Akkad/Mesopotamia

When the human space travelers in Prometheus arrive at their destination, the crew is given a background briefing as to the purpose of their journey. Numerous reliefs and clay tablets stemming from ancient Sumer/Akkad and derivative Mesopotamian civilizations are shown to the crew. A very clear reference to ancient Mesopotamia in conjunction to AAT is thus established.

My Blade Runner article likewise ascribes the surface story of desperate Replicants to be a Gnostic-style allegorical retelling of the ancient Mesopotamian literature. Principally its narrative is the centerpiece of Mesopotamian theology – that Mankind was created as a lesser race by the gods to be their servants. My analysis noted other elements in Blade Runner that referenced ancient Mesopotamia as well (e.g., the style of pyramidal buildings in which the elites resided in the top most chambers).

Interestingly, the 1979 Alien film has a scene depicting a subliminal reference to ancient Mesopotamia:

Sumerian Winged Solar Disk Emblem

This is a fairly lengthy scene of dialog and the winged solar disk symbol occupies the center space of the screen for its duration. It might not even be fair to categorize this as subliminal symbolism as the camera shot places it right at the level of the actors’ heads – right to where the viewers’ eyes will be focused. If one was already familiar with this symbol it would never escape notice.

The winged solar disk is rampant in ancient Mesopotamian iconography:

Sumerian-winged-solar-disk

Today, thanks in large part to various popular alternative history books and the Internet, the winged solar disk is rather well known (back in 1979 – probably not so much):

Prometheus makes explicit what Alien and Blade Runner encoded.

The Darwinian Fallacy

Prometheus on one level relates an account of the origin of life (and Mankind) on planet Earth that contradicts the materialist Darwinian belief that life originated on Earth through random processes of nature. Instead, Prometheus depicts that life was seeded by an extraterrestrial intelligence, which that concept is known as Directed Panspermia.

Some Darwinians are friendly to Panspermia and even perhaps the Directed Panspermia hypothesis. It remains a great conundrum that there still remains no scientifically viable explanation of how first cellar life arose on Earth. One ostensible way out of the dilemma is to posit that first cellar life came to Earth from outer space – from some other point of origin in the cosmos.

At one point in the Prometheus film, the protagonist character, scientist Elizabeth Shaw, is confronted on this matter. She is asked if she is effectively ready to jettison the presumed rationality of Darwinian Evolution (where the tone of the verbiage employed in the dialog treats it as well accepted fact) to account for the origin of life in favor of a Directed Panspermia explanation. Shaw’s retort is who created the Engineers? In other words, Directed Panspermia is not any kind of ultimate answer to the question of the origin of life.

As prominent real life Darwinian Evolutionist sometimes cozy up to the Panspermia hypothesis, Shaw’s critique stands as their rebuttal, i.e., you can’t run and hide under the Panspermia umbrella as a means to explain the ultimate origin of life. Panspermia is just another run of the mill circular argument that’s tossed up as obfuscation of the root dilemma. The Prometheus film depicts Shaw’s character savvy enough to see that ruse for what it is. (So instead of being a dogmatist, her character is a scientist that is about the business of science – searching for actual explanatory answers.)

(Per Elizabeth Shaw (Ridley Scott) rejoinder – a more in-depth rebuttal of the Darwinian Fallacy here.)

Transhumanism/Immortality

In the Blade Runner article there was a section that addressed the subject of achieving immortality via a transhumanism agenda of engineering a Replicant suitable for consciousness download – the Replicant Rachel being suspected as a research prototype with this purpose in mind.

The Prometheus spaceship is sent on a journey to encounter the Engineers, Mankind’s creators, as the character Peter Weyland (portrayed by Guy Pearce) hopes to learn how to reverse the condition of his decrepitude of old age. Thus he is looking for a genetic engineering solution to achieving immortality and rather reasonably expects that Mankind’s creators would possess that kind of know how.

This theme appeared somewhat obliquely, yet visibly, in the Blade Runner film. It becomes a front and center component of the Prometheus plot narrative.

Engineers as Gnostic Demiurge

The Prometheus film sets forth that the Annunaki gods of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations are essentially one and the same as the Engineers. Prometheus portrays the Engineers as having the following characteristics:

  • Gigantism
  • Pale complexion
  • Piercing eyes
  • Super human strength
  • Great intelligence
  • Malevolent attitude toward humanity

The Annunaki gods were depicted on the ancient reliefs as being giants in comparison to Mankind. The Hebrew Old Testament of the Bible describes the Anakim tribe in the land of Canaan as being great in stature (the Israelites were as grasshoppers by comparison). The height of Goliath, noted in various sources, ranged from 6 foot 9 inches to 9 feet tall – King Og of Bashan perhaps 11 to 12 feet in height.

The Book of Enoch has this description of Noah at his birth:

For unto my son Lamech a son has been born, one whose image and form are not like unto the characteristics of human beings; and his color is whiter than snow and redder than a rose, the hair of his head is whiter than white wool, and his eyes are like the rays of the sun; and (when) he opened his eyes the whole house lighted up.

Lamech was fearful that his new son had been sired by one of the angels of heaven given his physical appearance (Genesis Chapter 6 relates how the sons of the Elohim took human wives and had offspring – the demigods referred to as Nephilim, which has typically been translated as giants).

The Engineers of the film Prometheus are of a very pale complexion. Also, the eyes of the Engineers are of a notable piercing characteristic. The Engineers are physically much taller and definitely much stronger than human beings. The Elizabeth Shaw character determines through DNA analysis that humanity is derived from the Engineers (and hence in theory there could be offspring from a mating of the two species). The fact that the Engineers can travel in space and engage in genetic engineering is indicative of their intelligence.

Finally, the most paramount attribute of the Engineers is the unmitigated malevolence they harbor toward Mankind, their progeny, given their fervent intent to seek Mankind’s eradication.

This last point mirrors what is related in the ancient Mesopotamian account of the Deluge, where the Annunaki god, Enlil, wished to see Mankind eradicated by the device of a great destruction that was foreseen by the Annunaki to soon befall the Earth. Enlil forbade providing any foreknowledge or assistance to Mankind in respect to this looming great catastrophe. The Book of Genesis relates that the Hebrew god, Yahweh, likewise desired to see Mankind totally destroyed:

6:7 And Yahweh said, I will destroy Man, whom I have created, from the earth — from man to cattle, to creeping things, and to fowl of the heavens; for I repent that I have made them.

The more ancient Sumer story recounts that the god Enki wanted to instead see humanity survive and therefore assisted the Flood hero (thus thwarting Enlil’s intent of bringing about absolute extinction). The Biblical account of the Flood, in contrast, depicts a monotheistic god that is sort of schizophrenic – wanting to utterly wipe out Mankind on the one hand, while deciding to spare Noah and his family on the other. (It is a kind of further evidence of how the very ancient stories coming down from Sumer/Akkad were edited into a monotheistic Reader’s Digest version as they were incorporated into the Book of Genesis.)

An innate malevolence as a characteristic of the so-called creator god is a fundamental tenet of Gnostic Christianity in respect to their theological conception of the Demiurge. (My article on Gnostic cosmological dualism goes into this in more depth.)

In a sense the portrayal of the Engineers in the film Prometheus is essentially a revisionist formulation of the Gnostic Demiruge – where it is now informed and updated by the Ancient Astronaut Theory.

The Engineers as the Gnostic Demiruge…is it reasonable to bring Gnostic Christianity into a comparative analysis of Prometheus to Blade Runner?

Christian Gnosticism

When plumbing the back story of Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner, it will be necessary to take into consideration the author of the book on which the film was based – Philip K. Dick.

Here is an excerpt from The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick:

P.K.Dick_excerpt_from_Exegesis

Or consider P. K. Dick’s The Ten Major Principles of the Gnostic Revelation as recounted in this Examiner article by Miguel Conner, What are the main principles of a Christian Gnostic? From the article:

But if a list is demanded on defining Gnosticism, it might as well come from a person whose first passion was music– Philip K. Dick, considered by many as the latest and greatest Gnostic bandleader.

Dick’s visionary Gnosticism is best known from his novels (‘Valis’ and ‘The Divine Invasion’) and films (‘Bladerunner’ and ‘Minority Report’). Yet Dick spent much of life expressing his mystic discoveries in his ‘Exegesis’. Although the ‘Exegisis’ is a massive work, Dick managed to produce a list that might satisfy those needing to perfect their musical ear.

Here is item 5 from Dick’s list:

5. Each of us has a divine counterpart unfallen who can reach a hand down to us to awaken us. This other personality is the authentic waking self; the one we have now is asleep and minor. We are in fact asleep, and in the hands of a dangerous magician disguised as a good god, the deranged creator deity. The bleakness, the evil and pain in this world, the fact that it is a deterministic prison controlled by the demented creator causes us willingly to split with the reality principle early in life, and so to speak willingly fall asleep in delusion.

In Blade Runner I denote two visual allusions that depict the character Roy as a Christ figure, and that in particular he is a “Christ as Gnostic Revealer” in that he awakens the character Deckard.

Both the film Alien and the film Prometheus have main protagonist characters that are female (Ripley and Elizabeth respectively). Gnostics revere wisdom as expressed in the feminine divine, Sophia. The Christian Gnostics were denounced as heretics by their so-called “orthodox” counterparts. The Gnostic sects tended to be egalitarian and permitted women to participate at any function and capacity. One of the graver denouncements that Irenaeus of Lyons leveled against them is that they even permitted women to perform baptisms. (In contrast to the Gnostic Christians, the early church fathers of what became the orthodoxy tended toward misogynist attitudes.)

In Prometheus, the protagonist Elizabeth Shaw wears a Christian cross in necklace fashion. Significant attention is brought to bear on this symbol over the latter course of the film. At one point the android character, David (portrayed by Michael Fassbender), removes this cross necklace from Elizabeth while she is unconscious. Later on Elizabeth very insistently demands that it be returned to her and she begins to wear it again. This is a very deliberate story element – absolutely no doubt about that – no subtlety involved, no audience member misses this.

Elizabeth soundly rejoined the materialistic Darwinian perspective earlier in the movie (that which passes for “mainstream” rationality). By the end of the film she remains the lone human survivor – all others (and their perspectives toward life and reality) have been washed by the way side as ultimately irrelevant (and futile). She encountered the creators of Mankind and what transpired was neither enlightening nor what anyone had anticipated. She came face to face with the Demiurge and it found her presence as intolerable.

In the face of all that takes place in the latter half of the movie, Elizabeth, scientist by training, fervently clings to a symbol of Christianity. As this film ends, Elizabeth’s determination remains to seek an ultimate answer – to seek ultimate truth. For an awakened Gnostic, this is the great obsessive calling that cannot be repressed or denied.

From 1979 to 2012, what has Ridley Scott told his audience?

Zecharia Sitchin published his book The 12th Planet in 1976 in which he intimately connected the Ancient Astronaut Theory to be one and the same as the Anunnaki gods of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization, Sumer.

Jacques Vallée published Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers in 1969 or Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults in 1979. These books have been instrumental in the deconstruction of UFO contact phenomena from a nuts and bolts extraterrestrial visitation to that which is something playing on the very fabric of what constitutes perceived reality. For the generation of ufologist today, this point of view has become more persuasive and dominant – the nature of reality is not what we might suppose as per our education in school and universities. So-called UFO contact phenomena are actually quite ancient and seemingly shifts in nature to suit the cultural memes of the day. Yet things like the visage of the humanoid owl remain an identifiable constancy through the millennia.

Elaine Pagels published the highly influential The Gnostic Gospels in 1979. This work brought awareness of the Nag Hammadi texts and the Gnostic Christians of the first few centuries AD to an audience beyond academia, as her writings are very accessible to the lay person.

Philip K. Dick in 1974 had an experience that culminated in his writing of the VALIS trilogy. Dick, from this experience, began to conclude that the times of the Roman Empire (and the Roman Church that supplanted it) persecuting Gnostics Christian is a struggle that has really never ceased (a tenet of Gnostic Christianity, Bogomilism, Catharism is reincarnation of the evolving soul – arch conflicts may span through the ages).

There were indeed pre-existent works in literature that Ridley Scott may have been drawing on in respect to the symbolism, allegorical storytelling, and overt narrative themes that he went on to embed in the three notable films that have been referred to herein. Sources such as these could have been plausible inspiration – or Ridley Scott may have also been tapping into the lore (and agenda) of some secret order. Again, the owl symbolism in Blade Runner was simply not a meme that has garnered much awareness until more recent times.

What remains is that starting in 1979 and to the present year, Ridley Scott has made three significant films that in certain ways link together. In this last film, Prometheus, that which was previously occluded is now made overt. Life on Earth is the product of intelligent intervention. Yet the creator may not be of a nature that we presuppose. The cosmological dualism and the Demiurge concept of the Gnostic Christians were essentially right – it need merely be updated to reflect the Ancient Astronaut Theory as explanation of the Demiurge. There is a higher spiritual existence that transcends this current perceived reality – in this too the Gnostic Christians were correct. The Demiurge is actually not that big a deal – there is still yet a much greater truth. If we can come to grasp these things, then we too can awaken to gnosis.

MyCoreArticles (and some related links)
[awakening, synchronicity, Gnosticism, AAT, nature of reality/consciousness, etc.]
rogerv-50-percent

RogerV

Blade Runner – An Astro-Gnostic Fable (of the past – not the future)

Introduction

(Originally posted on: May 20, 2012 17:14)

Mary Sean Young recently appeared as guest on a RedIce interview. Mary is the actress that portrayed the character Rachel in the 1982 Ridley Scott sci-fi classic film, Blade Runner.

SEANfurface.jpg

Mary Sean Young in 1982

Mary_S_Young

Mary Sean Young

In the film, Rachel ultimately becomes the love interest of leading actor Harrison Ford’s character, Rick Deckard.

Deckerd kissing Rachel

There was a bit of discussion during the RedIce interview about the film and its symbolism. The mention of owls perked my attention and I recalled that, yes, the owl was indeed a very pronounced symbol in that film (I encounter the owl meme frequently so its appearance in a film is intriguing). This prompted me to go and re-watch the film, as I had not done so in a few years. I was curious to see what the symbolism of this film would say to me today?

What follows will definitely contain spoilers, so if you’ve not seem the film, you need to stop reading and go watch it. And if you haven’t seen this film, what planet have you been living on for the last three decades?

Also, I will be referencing the Director’s Cut version of the film – not the theatrical release version.

Do Artificial Minds Dream?

Let’s start with the source material. Blade Runner is based on a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” P. K. Dick is a legendary writer and is quite the topic unto himself – just go hit a search engine for material on P. K. Dick. What I will note is that an over arching theme of many of his works is that apparent reality is illusory – there is some deeper hidden, or less apparent context as to what is really going on. So in respect to the film Blade Runner is there possibly a veiled subtext that is actually what is being told as the story? After all, why all the trappings of the symbolism? Such things may be messages in and of themselves or serve as pointers or guides as to a more proper understanding. Let’s just dive in and start making thematic connections and see
what we come out with.

Thematic Connections

Epic of Gligamesh

The apparent story of Blade Runner revolves around a group of Replicants, led by Roy Batty (actor Rutger Hauer), that have made their way back to planet Earth in search of a longevity of life span comparable to that of their creators. Replicants only live for four years. Replicants have a short life span but enhanced abilities. They are sent to outer space to take on the harsher challenges that are involved in colonizing other worlds.

Roy’s quest is reminiscent of the demi-god Gilgamesh and the arduous journey he undertook to search for the longevity of the gods as recounted in the Sumerian Epic
of Gilgamesh
. Gilgamesh was born part mortal and part god. He is a superman in prowess (as is Roy) but is fated to a mortal lifespan. After the death of his companion Enkidu, Gilgamesh sets out on a quest to obtain the longevity of life span enjoyed by the gods. He travels to a land where the gods have permitted the hero of the Deluge (Noah’s Flood), Utnapishtim, to reside. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh, “The life that you are seeking you will never find. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping.”

These words closely echo what Roy’s creator, Dr. Eldon Tyrell (actor Joe Turkel), says in the movie when Roy finally confronts him with the object of his quest.

Thus in both stories we have mighty men undertaking risky journeys and in each case are rebuffed of their objective (which is an identical one) by the “creator gods”. Both Roy and Gilgamesh in the end must find solace in the accomplishments of their mortal lives.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is amongst the earliest of literature and thought to be Sumerian in origin, though extant versions of it date to latter derivative Mesopotamian civilizations.

More Akkad/Sumer Linkage

We also learn during the course of the movie that the shortened lifespan of the Replicants is quite deliberate. They are intended to be an artificial species purposed to slavery. The shortened lifespan should keep the slaves from becoming too highly self aware or from developing a sense of their personhood. They need to be rather intelligent in order to be
effective slaves, but they shouldn’t be overly mindful of a sense of individuality to the point they recognize and place value on their own sense of inward identity.

We see this theme of constraining lifespan likewise coming down to us from ancient literature:

Genesis
6:3
And Yahweh said, My Spirit shall not always plead with Man; for he indeed
is flesh; but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.

Earlier in Genesis 3 there was a sense of anxiety expressed regarding the potential lifespan of Mankind:

Genesis
3:22
And Yahweh Elohim said, Behold, Man is become as one of us, to know
good and evil. And now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also of the tree
of life, and eat, and live forever …!

This matter of gods wanting to artificially constrain the lifespan of their created species looks to be sourced from the same motivation as depicted in Blade Runner – to thwart the arising of a possibly rival species.

My 2010 article Heiser vs. Sitchin, as well as this treatment on Cosmological Dualism, explores these associations in greater detail and builds the case that this literary material and the events in Genesis of the Hebrew Bible are derivative from the earlier Akkad/Sumer civilization that the Biblical patriarch Abraham migrated out of.

So we’ve identified two themes from the Blade Runner story outline that can be tied to ancient Sumer.

Yet More Akkad/Sumer

Pyramidal Buildings

The cityscape of the Blade Runner environ is dominated by huge pyramidal buildings. These more resemble the style of the step pyramids of Mesopotamian civilizations than the smooth (by comparison) Egyptian pyramids. In Blade Runner, the pyramid buildings are where the elite class resides and those that serve the elites come to work. The Anunnaki gods of Sumer were said to reside in the topmost floors of the step pyramids that were built as temples to them.

The Replicant Roy goes to confront his “creator god” in a top chamber of one of these pyramidal complexes.

Sumerian Creation Story of Mankind

In the Atra-Hasis tablets, the Anunnaki gods were recounted to be the creators of Mankind and that Man’s purpose was to do the work of the gods, as per this Wikipedia synopsis excerpt:

Enlil assigned junior divines to do farm labor and maintain the rivers and canals, but after forty years the lesser gods or dingirs rebelled and refused to do strenuous labor. Instead of punishing the rebels, Enki, who is also the kind, wise counselor of the gods, suggested that humans be created to do the work. The mother goddess Mami is assigned the task of creating humans by shaping clay figurines mixed with the flesh and blood of the slain god Geshtu-E, “a god who had intelligence” (his name means “ear” or “wisdom”). All the gods in turn spit upon the clay. After ten months, a specially made womb breaks open and humans are born.

In my Heiser vs. Sitchin article we see that Man, as related in the first chapters of Genesis from the Hebrew Bible, is created by the Elohim and assigned to toil at the task of food cultivation.

The Sumerian word for Mankind is Adamu (Adam in the Bible). So substituting Replicant for Adamu (or vice versa), and the parallelism of these mythologies (one presumably futuristic, the others ancient) distill to the same essential narrative. Highly adept beings create an order of subordinate beings to do arduous labor for them. In each of these accounts the creators work from a pre-existent substrate (as opposed to ex nihilo creation).

A Damaged Planetary Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the Blade Runner world is ecologically damaged.

In Zechariah Sitchin’s thesis, as presented in his 1976 book, The Twelfth Planet, the atmosphere of the Annunaki gods’ home world is in crisis and they journeyed to Earth to obtain gold in large quantities. From the ore they would presumably refine it into a form suitable to be dispersed into their home world’s upper atmosphere. (NASA has used a thin layer of gold shielding in astronaut helmet visors – is it conceivable to deploy gold into an atmospheric layer for similar purpose?).

A viewer of Blade Runner presumes that that world’s dilapidated environment is the result  of poor environmental stewardship. A cause of the Annunaki Nibiru atmospheric crisis is indeterminate.

This factor of the movie is a more indirect or tenuous connection to ancient Sumer mythology, but it’s still plausible to make. It is the gamut of the other Sumerian connections that tend to likewise suggest this one.

 (A more contemporary adaptation of Sitchin’s original thesis is that the Anunnaki home planet, Nibiru, would likely be in orbit in a miniature solar system around a brown dwarf star. The consequence of a close proximity orbit around such a star, in order to achieve sufficient warmth, might be a continual balancing act of deflecting the undesirable portions of the radiation spectrum – as well as deflecting the brown dwarf’s charged particulate solar wind. The planetary orbital arrangement of such a miniature solar system would likely be artificial in origin instead of natural. A wondering brown dwarf star, with planets in tow, would be one way of making a trek through the galaxy. The question only remains: can a civilization arise to the point of engineering at this scale? The Saturn moon Iapetus, due to the perfectly linear 3 mile high ridge that runs half way around its equator, has been suggested to be an artificial body. There are other characteristics too such that it actually appears to be polygonal instead of circular over the curvature of its body.)

The Omni Observant Owl

An owl perched in Dr. Eldon Tyrell’s chambers gets a lot of screen shots in Blade Runner – thus it’s really a rather heavy handed symbolic reference. Owls have a tie to Mesopotamia as well, but I will save owls for last.

Other Themes

Transhumanist Singularity Agenda

The Replicants are a product of genetic engineering. In many ways the designers sought to enhance their creations. Rachel is representative of their state of the art. She is perfect physically – an ideal feminine form – but also neurally she is much more sophisticated than previous generations. She, more so than other Replicants, has a human-like emotional construct to her consciousness (its one thing to be intelligent like Roy, but it’s also vital to feel as a human does). Instead of wanting to constrain Replicant mental development, as was the case with the off-world slave models, the Rachel model represents an effort to go the other way – see how human-like a Replicant can be engineered to be – in respect to the seat of consciousness, that is.

Director Ridley Scott accentuates this understanding of Rachel’s genetic perfection through the manner that Rachel first makes an appearance in the film. Even though it was 30 years ago I can still recall a sense of my first time reaction. Rachel’s entrance was one of those moments in film like when Ingrid Bergman enters Rick’s bar in Casablanca, or when Grace
Kelly leans over to kiss Jimmy Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

Rachel_debut_002

Rachel appears suave, urbane, and stunningly attractive – but within an appropriate dystopian ambiance via the film noir style of low key lighting, shadows, framing…the close fitting outfit, the high heels, a unique slant on a 1940’s hair style:

film_noir_Rachel

And there will naturally be the obligatory film noir cigarette smoking:

film noir cigarette smoking

(From the scene where Rachel is tested we also become introduced to a sense of underlying vulnerability in Rachel that’s always there – both in her speech and in her eyes. Despite the initial impression conveyed by her entrance, we begin to see that Rachel is fragile. This plays to another angle of this character as meshed to over-arching themes of the film that we’ll circle back to later.)

In this perfected Rachel Replicant there is an inference here – as we listen in on the dialog between Dr. Tyrell and Deckard in the aftermath of Rachel’s test – that the genetic engineers are working toward an ultimate “Raymond Kurzweil” Transhumanist Singularity. That is, a point at which the advanced Rachel model would be a truly suitable host for downloading an existing human consciousness into. So-called immortality achieved via the technological means of genetic engineering and a mechanistic view of consciousness – pragmatic immortality, if you will.

Of course we’ve seen this particular theme more recently in the SyFy Battlestar Galatica TV series. However, Blade Runner was touching on this idea in 1982. Star Trek episodes dealt in this concept as well but Blade Runner conveys more realism with respect to the tangibility of the genetic engineering it portrays.

Through this lens of transhumanism we infer that the ruling elites of the Blade Runner world are looking to obtain immortality and enhanced vibrancy of life through materialist technological pursuit. Perhaps this is their means to a pathway to “salvation”.

Rachel’s Trauma

From Rachel’s testing scenes, we also see Rachel confronted with the realization that she is an artificial being – that she is a Replicant too. This begins to visibly dawn on her as she is asked by Dr. Tyrell to leave the room so he can talk privately with Deckard. Later she confronts Deckard at his flat. She is in shock and denial at the outset of this traumatic realization. Yet Deckard is able to recite some of her “private” memories as they have been merely implanted in her mind so as to simulate having an historical past.

It’s a shattering moment for her sense of self-identity as a person. (The operating presumption in the Blade Runner world is that a Replicant, as an artificial being, is not truly   person.) The vulnerability we detected in Rachel’s speech and the look in her eyes during her testing by Deckard suggests she had already been harboring doubts well before being subjected to the test. For the moment, Rachel is crushed psychically.

Taking Stock…

So far we have seen how Blade Runner is a recasting of narratives that come to us from ancient Mesopotamian sources and that the film has symbolic references that connote association to that particular milieu of ancient civilizations.

As such, the film can be seen to work as an allegorical retelling of the creation of Mankind by the Annunaki/Elohim – the gods of these Mesopotamian civilizations, or their close cousin derivatives such as Abrahamic influenced Hebrew culture.

In the debut of Rachel, her testing scene, and subsequent dialog from Dr. Tyrell, we see possible implication of a transhumanism agenda to be afoot.

The trauma of Rachel’s self-realization of whom and what she really is works allegorically as representing the existential crises of those that encounter the Ancient Astronaut Theory of human origins, and are exposed to the voluminous circumstantial evidence thereof (e.g., the allegorical parallel of Deckard telling Rachel of her presumably private memories proving they’re not authentic memories). The Rachel character, then, is representative
of each of us of the human race in grappling with the ramifications of AAT.

Those are some potent themes to be telling as an occulted back story in 1982. Yet let us now switch gears as the film will take us into a rather different slant of symbology (still holding off for now on the owl, though).

Gnostic Revelation

Up to this point the narrative of Blade Runner has been decidedly dystopic. The viewer receives no particular satisfaction (there’s no resounding moral affirmation) in watching Deckard terminating the Replicants. He’s a tool of the ruling elite and is compelled to carry through regardless. Replicants strike back – sometimes in defense or in desperation to obtain their quest, but mostly from a sense of nihilism that ebbs from the starkness of their fate due to what they are. The film moves through various bleak and unsettling exchanges and acts of deadly violence. Of course, it’s also the kind of plot conflict narrative that fuels the ticket sells for Hollywood sci-fi action movies.

Yet in the concluding scenes of Deckard having his show down with Roy, Blade Runner in its own fashion repudiates the nihilism inherent in the preceding violence. It does so through the device of Gnostic transcendence.

Instead of culminating in a final pitched struggle to the death between the two combatants, in Roy’s last moments he chooses to spare Deckard’s life. Roy’s life essence at this point is rapidly ebbing away and he knows he will soon die. Instead of spitefully insuring that Deckard dies with him, he saves Deckard and then begins to recount the wonders of things he’s seen and done. (It is a memorializing of Roy’s mortal life that parallels the memorializing that Gilgamesh accomplished as King, where his deeds were later recounted to his glory – thereby achieving a form of immortality.)

The Gnostic Revealer

We also see use of visual symbols in this portion of the movie that portray Roy as a Christ figure – not a Christ as sacrificial lamb but Christ as Gnostic Revealer.

The Christ association is established by these visual cues: Roy pulls a nail from a plank, a long, wedge shaped nail that resembles a Roman crucifixion nail. He then pierces his hand with this nail. Later when Roy finally breathes his last, he releases a dove that ascends into the sky – symbolizing his spirit released and ascending into Heaven. It is a manner of visual allusion to the baptism of Jesus where the Spirit descends on Jesus as though a dove:

John 1:32 “And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him.”

Coauthors Marvin Meyer and Willis Barnstone in their book The Gnostic Bible: Revised and Expanded Edition write this describing Christ as a Gnostic Revealer:

“The role of the gnostic savior or revealer is to awaken people who are under the spell of the demiurge—not, as in the case of the Christ of the emerging orthodox church, to die for the salvation of people, to be a sacrifice for sins, or to rise from the dead on Easter. The gnostic revealer discloses knowledge that frees and awakens people, and that helps them recall who they are.”

Roy as Gnostic Revealer initiates a gnosis in Deckard that awakens him. He awakens to the worth of all life – even the lives of an artificial slave species that his society has dehumanized.

Later this revelatory gnosis culminates in Deckard’s understanding that his dream of a unicorn racing through the forest indicates that he too is a Replicant – that he’s really in the same lot and just as expendable as the those he’d previously helped herd and cull on behalf of the ruling elites.

[Update] Masonic scholar Manly Palmer Hall, in his 1928 book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, cited the unicorn as mythical symbol of the awakened pineal gland:

The single horn of the unicorn may represent the pineal gland, or third eye, which is the spiritual cognition center in the brain. The unicorn was adopted by the Mysteries as a symbol of the illumined spiritual nature of the initiate. . . .

As the movie ends, both Rachel and Deckard have now fully confronted their existential crisis of personhood. For both Rachel and Deckard, their internal crisis arises because of what their societal context has programmed them to believe. They ultimately must reject those external precepts of normalcy and trust in their personal gnosis of their own individual sense of personhood and thus self value.

The allegory here to the perceptive audience: It is not for others to determine personhood; in the final analysis we each have only our individual conscious experience from which we assert our full sense of personhood. It doesn’t matter really what we are in terms of the physical shell (artificial slave species or not). It is instead the spirit that sojourns therein (the spirit rising to Heaven as a dove) that is the true seat of our personhood.

The Owl Archtype

Excerpts from Graham Hancock’s 2007 book, Supernatural, pages 324-325:

“The abduction experience of a woman on the west coast of the U.S.A began when an entity that she construed as a “five-foot-tall owl” strode down the highway towards her parked Jeep and started at her over the hood.”

“A registered nurse from the north-eastern United States, Carol’s abductions were of special interest to me because another of her encounters with strange, compelling owls included further levels of transformation, as well as unexpected symbolism that she herself recognized as shamanic.”

“Remembering his childhood in the Amazon, he told John Mack about an occasion during a tribal ceremony when the figure of an owl was seen perching at the top of a tree. The elders chanted, ‘Ikuya! Ikuya! Ikuya!’ Bernardo asked them why they thought the creature was an ikuya and not simply an owl: They said that, because they were in a trance, they could see light and force around the owl, which told them it was a humanoid in disguise. Also when they shoot arrows at the ikuyas disguised as owls, the arrows seem to pass through them without killing them.”

Excerpt from page 328:

“That the onset of some shamanic initiations and of some UFO abductions should be marked by the sudden materialization of owls – or of other birds and animals with huge owl-like eyes – is mysterious enough in itself. But what I thought made the coincidence even stranger was the way this sort of imagery seems to pick up a reflection from the caves of Upper Paleolithic Europe. A prehistoric engraving on the wall of Trois Freres in south-west France, described in Chapter Four, features two large owls, which archaeologist judge to have distinctly humanoid characteristics.”

In Babylonian demonology, Lilith was a monster who roamed at night taking on the appearance of an owl.

The visage of the humanoid owl figures frequently in the realm of reported incidents and phenomena that are characterized as manifestations that are not of conventional physical nature that, say, accord with what we regard as the normal operation of our reality context.

Often the humanoid owl is recounted as an implacable silent observer (though not always) to these incidents of high strangeness. In the Blade Runner movie, the owl is an implacable and present observer of the travails of the human drama.

That director Ridley Scott chose to reference the owl (to the point that it has become iconic as evidenced in the poster) as such a high profile symbol – back in 1982 no less – is perhaps the most intriguing riddle in respect to this film. It is intriguing as to what does Ridley Scott really know about such things? And how did he come about such knowledge at that time frame?

The owl symbolism speaks to a whole other level of special occluded knowledge than just mere Ancient Astronaut Theory – it hints that there lurks a possible cognizance about the very fabric and nature of reality (or super reality). That really would be something surprising for a film director to be plugged into in some fashion.

Epilogue

Blade Runner began as a dystopic tale of a world run by a ruling elite bent on a materialistic transhumanist agenda – all the while artificially crafting beings as slaves with no respecting of the lives of said slaves. To be found as one of the slave race is a despairing condition – if that reality is realized for what it is (hence the various precautions to keep the slaves in the dark).

Some would say that pretty well summarizes the human condition today on planet Earth (the ruling elites determined to keep the masses in the dark as to what and who humanity really is, as well as various other matters that may be going down).

Yet Blade Runner, via the methods of its various symbolic overlays, imparts at its conclusion that waking up to the nature of slave status is merely incidental – it is not really crucial in respect to authenticity of personhood. What is crucial is Gnostic awaking. The spirit that ascends from the physical shell into Heaven is that which is our vital selves and is what we need to awaken to.

Acknowledgments

  • Astro-Gnosticism is a term Christopher Knowles uses in his writings at The Secret Sun. The term denotes themes of Ancient Astronaut Theory, Gnosticism, and gnosis of the manifestation thereof. Reading Chris’s treatment of comic book artist Jack Kirby will embody the sense of how this meme may manifest in popular cultural.

  • Thank you, Mary…for being a catalyst – or muse, as you Hollywood folk would say.

    The act of penning and then sharing that brief synopsis with you was a nudge that caused one of those instant insights to fire in the brain: there are some really significant underlying themes to this film and those are even more relevant in today’s situation than 30 years ago. Those themes deserved to be expanded on in light of our current zeitgeist.

    There is now a much broader and more developed public domain knowledge base by which to understand and interpret those themes, there is the Internet, and in riding the wave of synchronicity we can go at this all together.

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RogerV

I wish the world was flat like the old days (Cosmological Dualism and Delitzsch’s Dilemma)

Introduction

(Originally posted on: May 7, 2012 00:36)

Cosmological dualism is a long standing tension in the realm of philosophies and religions. Mankind has been inspired and marveled at the wonder and majesty of existent reality while at the same time being perplexed that, from a subjective human perspective, a lifetime of existence in this reality is frequently unpleasant and at times extremely so (much of human history attest to that estimation). The order and meticulousness of apparent existent reality for many tends to affirm an extraordinary consciousness as its ultimate source (arch materialist should first check in here before proceeding further). Yet the human mind has been unable to satisfactorily reconcile the grand artifact of apparent existent reality with the actual experience of it. Cosmological dualisms generally in some fashion seek to address, as explanation, this fundamental dichotomy of the pervasive human condition.

We will ponder here in a roundabout fashion the cosmological dualism of gnostic traditions – especially the Gnostic Christians of the first three centuries of the Common Era. Since the fourth century Gnosticism has been suppressed at any time it has attempted to surface. In contemporary times it again has garnered notice. More than a few have descried interesting convergences of current state of knowledge with the various ancient Gnostic precepts. In that light, let us proceed with our musings and meanderings.

National/Tribal Gods – Babylonian Marduk, Hebraic Yahweh

The German Assyriologist, Friedrich Delitzsch, caused a firestorm at the time when he revealed in a high profile lecture series began in January 1902, that the arch story elements of the Hebrew Bible had been discovered in archeological artifacts of civilizations that were yet more ancient and were not monotheistic. What were most controversial of all, as revealed in his lectures, were three Cuneiform tablets dating from time of King Hammurabi (1792 – 1750 BC). A form of the name “Yahweh”, the Hebrew tetragrammaton, appears in one of the names on these tablets, indicating that this name was not a unique revelation to Moses at the latter time of the Exodus. (Joseph P. Farrell covers this in depth in his book, “Genes, Giants, Monsters and Men”, where there is a section titled: Delitzsch’s Dilemma: Babel und Bibel.)

Enuma Elish and the Lamentations Texts

The emerging kingdoms of the Babylonians and Assyrians were principal inheritors of remnant Akkad/Sumer civilization – the transition of cultural dominance occurring sometime around the progression of the historical sweep from the third millennium BC into the second millennium BC.

The Enuma Elish, also dated from Hammurabi’s time, incorporates the pantheon of Annunaki gods of Sumer while imposing the Babylonian high god, Marduk, at the head of the pantheon as noted in this Wikipedia excerpt:

This epic is one of the most important sources for understanding the Babylonian worldview, centered on the supremacy of Marduk and the creation of humankind for the service of the gods. Its primary original purpose, however, is not an exposition of theology or theogony but the elevation of Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, above other Mesopotamian gods.

The Enuma Elish appears as antecedent material in a number of passages in the Hebrew Bible, and most especially The Book of Job, which draws on Enuma Elish and texts such as the Lament for Ur. Job is an attempt to philosophically understand or rationalize the devastation that had brought Akkad/Sumer to its demise (what happens to Job’s family is paralleled in the Laments literature from that time period). The northern neighbor peoples, such as the early Babylonians, became the successors of what remained of the centuries long stream of Akkad/Sumer civilization.

Biblical scholar, Douglas Elwell, in his book, “Planet X: The Sign of the Son of Man”, expounds on these earlier literary influences and where portions of them appear literally in many scriptural passages of the Hebrew Bible (with the Book of Job being the most pronounced). The arch theme of the Enuma Elish, Marduk battling the great dragon Tiamat, likewise is retained in the Hebrew writings – and even appears in the Christian New Testament writing, the Apocalypse of John.

The great biblical patriarch Abraham leaves the city of Ur, where his father Terah is a high priest – the reasons aren’t precisely clear other than he is called out. The Book of Job, regarded as the oldest book of the Hebrew Bible, from our culture’s perspective looking back to this period in history, can be seen as essentially introspection into the twilight of Abraham’s civilization – and is thus perhaps an indicator of circumstances that impelled Abraham and his considerable entourage to migrate out of Ur.

The Book of Job is akin to an Ecclesiastes manner of rumination (styled as a kind of play or opera) from this earlier patriarchal era where a once great stream of civilization fell into dissolution as resulting from devastating circumstances (refer to Elwell’s book for further speculation as to what that cause may have been – and Zechariah Sitchin’s writings have yet another perspective on a possible cause as well [i]).

This introspection is a kind of foreshadowing of the traumatic self-doubt the Hebrews underwent over a millennium later when carried off into Babylonian captivity. Job’s wife and Job’s friends ponder if somehow there was some discord with the deity as resulting from human weakness (indeed, they assume that must be the case); those in Babylonian captivity could only imagine that their national god, Yahweh, had abandoned them due to displeasure. In the case of Job, his misfortunes are portrayed as stemming from an inscrutable deity that evidently simply couldn’t resist being goaded into an interesting wager. The loss of life and human suffering are simply Man’s due lot in life in respect to the sovereignty of the deity. In such tales, if the principal great patriarch comes out okay (as Job does) then that constitutes a righteous conclusion of the matter. The great take away is to never question the ways of the deity but unflinchingly accept them.

The Attempted Editorializing Into Monotheistic Cosmogony

As the Hebrew Bible began to be written down at a much later time frame, drawing upon these earlier sources stemming from polytheistic civilizations, the Hebrew authors – as a net effect – editorialized a monotheistic filtering. As an example, when textual material that is paralleled from the Enuma Elish appears, proper names of deities were transliterated to depersonalized wording while the proper name Yahweh is superimposed. The Babylonians, in contrast, incorporated the earlier Akkad/Sumer source material, yet retained the pre-existing pantheon – only asserting their national god, Marduk, as preeminent.

The Hebrews imposed Yahweh as the supreme deity while mostly (but not absolutely) suppressing the earlier polytheism of their inspirational source material:

Deuteronomy 10:17 For Yahweh your God is the God of Elohim, and the Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty and the terrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward;

Here in Psalm 82 we see a highest echelon god speaking to an assembly of colleagues – urging them to govern with justice – for just as do mortal Mankind, they too will eventually die:

Psalm 82
1: God standeth in the assembly of Elohim, he judgeth among the Elohim.
2: How long will ye judge unrighteously, and accept the person of the wicked? Selah.
3: Judge for the needy and fatherless: do justice to the humble and the poor.
4: Rescue the poor and needy, deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.
5: They know not, neither do they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are moved.
6: I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High;
7: But ye shall die like Adam, and fall like one of the Shining Ones.
8: Arise, O Elohim, judge the earth; for thou shalt inherit all the nations.

For further exploration of Yahweh and Elohim as appearing in the text of Genesis, I also recommend my 2010 article: Heiser vs. Sitchin

The Theistic Concept of the Gnostic Demiurge

In the early formative Christian era, Gnostic Christians rejected the deity Yahweh of the Hebrew biblical scriptures inferring that Yahweh, as described, was in-congruent to the Heavenly Father revealed in the ministry and teachings of Yeshua.

The concept of the Demiurge is an arch defining tenet of many Gnostic traditions – even Jewish Gnostics that were not adherents of Christianity. In the introduction section of their book The Gnostic Bible: Revised and Expanded Edition, authors Marvin Meyer and Willis Barnstone say this on Gnostic cosmological dualism:

“They [Gnostics] concluded that a distinction, often a dualistic distinction, must be made between the transcendent, spiritual deity, who is surrounded by aeons and is all wisdom and light, and the creator of the world, who is at best incompetent and at worst malevolent. Yet through everything, they maintained, a spark of transcendent knowledge, wisdom, and light persists within people who are in the know. The transcendent deity is the source of that enlightened life and light.”

(The Gnostics’ cosmological dualism, inherent in the concept of the Demiurge, is typically expounded upon in theological terms. My writing in Heiser vs. Sitchin, as well as that of others, takes a concretized literalist perspective of what [or who] the Demiurge is. A circumstantial case is made that Yahweh is a high overlord of the Annunaki of Sumerian fame. Identifying exactly who the Annunaki are remains an open ended investigation. There are, of course, various hypotheses.)

Meyer and Barnstone list five distinguishing traits of gnostic religions. Third on this list is cosmological dualism as an explanation of a transcendent divine spirit vis a vis the evident fact of the estrangement of the world as it is experienced from a human perspective.

Meyer and Barnstone go on to point out that even among the non gnostic Christians there was a tension over this matter. The influential Marcion of Sinope advocated a theological dualism:

“Marcion preached that the good and loving god, revealed in Christ, must be distinguished from the just and righteous god of the Jewish people.”

“Marcion wrote a book, a rather simple-minded piece called the Antitheses, with quotations from Jewish and Christian texts that seemed to Marcion to show the striking contrasts between the Jewish god and the Christian god.”

Eventually Marcion too was denounced as heretical as the congealing orthodoxy of Christianity at the time decided to opt for continuity of the salvation story in respect to the history of Judaism. None-the-less, Marcion evidences the point that the Gnostic Christians were not unique in advocating theological “Demiurge” dualism.

The Cathars of 11th through 13th century in the Languedoc region of France likewise held the Old Testament god, Yahweh, to be the Demiurge:

“Before the persecutions started, Cathars seem to have regarded the Roman Church much the same as everything else in this material world. But increasingly evidence seemed to confirm that the Roman Church was actively allied to the wrong God. In the first place the Roman Catholics venerated the Old Testament. But the God of the Old Testament was not the Good God that Cathars recognized.”

Coming down to more recent times, the above mentioned Friedrich Delitzsch, as cited by Joseph Farrell’s book, also took umbrage with the deity portrayed in the Hebrew Bible:

“In the early 1920s, Delitzsch published the two-part The Great Deception, which was a critical treatise on the book of Psalms, prophets of the Old Testament, the invasion of Canaan, etc. Delitzsch also stridently questioned the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Bible and placed great emphasis on its numerous examples of immorality”

In the 2012 book, Yahweh, the Two-Faced God: Theology, Terrorism, and Topology(Apocalypse Theater) [ii], Joseph Farrell and coauthor Scott deHart bring the long line of Yahwist critique up to the very present time. Here are excerpts from the book’s preface:

This book is the product of our many discussions and conversations over the twenty years of our friendship. In it, we have tried to summarize our own observations about the religions of Yahwism and the types of behavior engineering that they foster.

By “Yahwism” we mean simply to connote those monotheisms that have as their basis some version, be it Jewish, Christian, or Islamic, of the Old Testament character of Yahweh.

This is a key point, for it is the character of Yahweh itself that is our focus here, and the social effect of that character on creating “regions” of light and darkness, of “revelation” and “idolatry”, of “believer” and “infidel” or “skeptic”.

And this brings us to what, in our conversations, we have called the “Apocalypse Theater,” by which we mean to imply that many of these memes and “macro-scenario-creating activities” are to some extent deliberately contrived experiments in social engineering: the deliberate creation of certain types of expectations of “fulfillments”, which can then be manipulated.

So is the 21st century Demiurge our ancient Gnostic fathers’ Demiurge? Perhaps not in detail yet perhaps so in essential consequence.

[i] Downfall of Akkad/Sumer: The account in Genesis of Abraham’s visit by Yahweh and the subsequent destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would tend to reinforce Zacheriah Sitchin’s explanation for the demise of this southern Mesopotamian civilization. This region suffered an unfortunate side effect of the devastation of the Sinai area. Also in Genesis, Abraham’s journey to the land of Canaan could be viewed as a harbinger of an agenda that is not taken up again to completion (by the Yahweh Moses encountered at the burning bush) until a few centuries later. Abraham’s descendants ultimately go into the land of Canaan, being lead by Joshua; one outcome is a near extermination of remnant Nephilim. Such extermination continues even down to the time of King David, around the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. Goliath was slain by David in the field of battle and then Goliath’s brothers are late slain in the town of Gath where they resided.

[ii] Farrell, Joseph P.; deHart, Scott D. (2012-01-05). Yahweh The Two-Faced God: Theology, Terrorism, and Topology (Apocalypse Theater) (Kindle Locations 2-3). Periprometheus Press. Kindle Edition.

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21st Century Schizoid Man – The Epistemology Crisis

Originally posted on: March 31, 2012 22:07

Cat’s foot iron claw

Neuro-surgeons scream for more

At paranoia’s poison door.

Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack barbed wire

Politicians’ funeral pyre

Innocents raped with napalm fire

Twenty first century schizoid man.

Death seed blind man’s greed

Poets’ starving children bleed

Nothing he’s got he really needs

Twenty first century schizoid man.

King Crimson – 21St Century Schizoid
Man lyrics

© Universal Music Publishing Group

Epistemology

According to the Wiki (aka the Encyclopedia Galatica), epistemology is a branch of philosophy that concerns itself with the nature of knowledge and how humanity comes by it. You’ll wade through a lot of isms that are variants of approaches to knowledge acquisition, but the big daddy that has fueled the technology of the industrial revolution up to the present has been the scientific method.

Scientific Method

The scientific method fundamentally posits a rational objective reality to exist. In other words, it is predicated on certain assumptions – to most folks they seem to have been pretty good ones. Mankind, after being in virtually a technological static mode for thousands of years, where humans, animals, and natural forces of nature such as wind and running water have provided the source of energetic force for anything requiring labor, in just a few centuries the scientific method overturned that status quo, literally propelling our species into the outer space beyond our planetary sphere. For most people that speaks volumes to the success of this particular approach to knowledge acquirement. We believe ourselves to be much better off than the state of humanity that prevailed, say, during the Middle Ages before the scientific method and its technological offspring of the industrial revolution become dominant.

Yet as we’ve entered the 21st century, mankind – around the globe – has found itself to be in a bit of a funk; perhaps even disillusionment would not be too strong an expression. The scientific method keeps cranking out further advancement and refinement of knowledge over the mastery of nature, yet there are certain detectable cracks in its mighty edifice that have begun to appear to the observant.

A Hairline Fracture

To begin with, there are findings in science itself that have brought into question the matter of if our shared reality space is indeed truly objective. This is a rather big deal because from the outset it has been one of the fundamental pillars of the scientific method to assume that reality is objective. Yet in the field of quantum physics there has been a peculiar finding.

Again, referencing the Wiki, this statement here from the Wiki’s description of Wheeler’s Delayed choice experiment crystallizes the essence of the mystery that goes on in such experiments:

According to the results of the double slit experiment, if experimenters do something to learn which slit the photon goes through, they change the outcome of the experiment and the behavior of the photon. If the experimenters know which slit it goes through, the photon will behave as a particle. If they do not know which slit it goes through, the photon will behave as if it were a wave when it is given an opportunity to interfere with itself.

Some state of knowledge of the experiment underway, held in the mind of the experimenter, has bearing on the outcome of the experiment. Juxtaposed against the core assumption of an objective reality, this is just extraordinary – and perhaps even unsettling to anyone that gives it a moment of serious contemplation. Further, it is the act of measurement (observation) that collapses the so-called quantum wave function of  matter/energy. The universe is seemingly a probability field that is in a continuous mode of manifestation upon being observed – by conscious observers. In respect, at least, to the various double slit experiments, that consciousness is pinpointed to that of the human scientist conducting the experiment and making the observations of the experiment’s outcomes.

In everyday life deterministic laws of nature, such as Newton’s still quite handy formulations, work very well and consistently. If we step in front of an on-coming bus we’ll get pulverized – quantum physics might describe this as a high probability outcome of the collapse of the wave function of the system under observation.

Yet at the very finest scale of the fabric of reality that is probed scientifically – subatomic particles and even larger orders such as clumps of atoms and molecules – reality does not behave in that straight forward deterministic manner. A tiny hairline fracture appears in that most comfortable model of the so-called objective reality assumption.

The Heresy

In my posting, Consciousness And Quantum Physics – And Where That Leads, I discussed three of the interpretations in view of this finding.

Certainly one possibility that remains on the table is that consciousness may actually be more primary than the matter/energy detectable phenomena by which we’ve been accustomed to reckoning about reality. Instead of the universe innately existing and then human consciousness being a mere byproduct, a kind of reverse scenario may be the actual order of things. Information processing due to elemental, pervasive consciousness may under-gird all aspects of perceived experience. What we distinguish as reality may be a kind of virtual reality (the term virtual here denoting not having innate existence in and of itself), and instead of behaving simply as good clockwork should, it might at times exhibit phenomena that seems a bit strange because it ebbs from the deeper meta reality of all that is going on.

Today this point of view (the universe as a kind of virtual reality manifested via consciousness) is the provenance of the side-lined and marginalized pop culture (our favorite thought provoking movies) and counter culture (our various flavors of gurus and mystics). These are the fringes that exist in our society where an imposed rigidity of thinking can be most resisted (or simply ignored).

All we see & seem is but a dream within a dream

The fracture that is coming about in human understanding of so-called reality has been building in cadence for some time. Even as science has emerged triumphal and seemingly swept away superstition, mysticism, or anything else that might be dubbed as so-called paranormal, there has continued to be an undercurrent of contrarian agitation in the panoply of reported human experience, stubbornly refusing to be completely banished to non existence or unreserved irrelevance.

Outliers

The term outlier is used in statistical mathematics to denote a data point that is numerically outside the range or grouping of most normal data points. Statistically speaking normal tends to define the effect that is most prevalently observed/experienced. Hence outlier here is a good basis for metaphoric language that denotes phenomena that surfaces in the annals of human experiences and yet does not reside in the observations/experiences designated as normal.

What consideration is consigned to a reported outlier?

In the context of a scientific experiment, where some outlier measurement is contrary to expectations, it would typically be relegated to such causes as:

  1. Low contrasting signal to noise ratio of system being measured
  2. Procedural error in taking a measurement
  3. Faulty calibration or operation of measuring equipment
  4. Bias of the human experimenter clouding the technique or method of taking the measurement
  5. Fraudulent intent of the human experimenter
  6. Mental instability of the human experimenter

In a recent highly publicized scientific experiment, regarding a possible finding of neutrinos traveling faster than light, the head of the group that came forth with that finding, Prof Antonio Ereditato, has now resigned:

Neutrino ‘faster than light’ scientist resigns

An attempt by a second group to make the same measurements came up with results that found neutrinos to be traveling at the expected speed of light. Back in February there was intimation that measurement equipment might have been at fault:

Faster-than-light neutrinos could be down to bad wiring

The two problems the team has identified would have opposing effects on the apparent speed.

On the one hand, the team said there is a problem in the “oscillator” that provides a ticking clock to the experiment in the intervals between the synchronizations of GPS equipment.

This is used to provide start and stop times for the measurement as well as precise distance information.

That problem would increase the measured time of the neutrinos’ flight, in turn reducing the surprising faster-than-light effect.

But the team also said they found a problem in the optical fiber connection between the GPS signal and the experiment’s main clock – quite simply, a cable not quite fully plugged in.

In contrast, the team said that effect would increase the neutrinos’ apparent speed.

The indication here is that the unusual finding may have been due to the third bullet item, yet the recent resignation of the team’s director implies a reaction from the scientific peer community that is behaving as though it were bullet item 4 or 5.

Climate of Intimidation

Ponder here the upshot that is involved. A team following scientific protocol in good faith perhaps has a mistaken result, yet because the outlier finding challenged a fundamental pillar of contemporary science, an individual most responsible for that team is allowed scant mercy.

The incident then ends up being a reflection of the collective mind set of the scientific community: we have our hallowed precepts – do not come anywhere near to treading upon them in the science you conduct.

If the body of the scientific community reacts toward its peers in this manner in this situation, consider the disdain it would have for ordinary folk reporting categorically bizarre outlier phenomena.

Perhaps there are readers that see this in the same vein as the scientific community – if you dare to bring forth a finding that is contrary to an established pillar, you’d very well better have your ducks in a row as the body of science is hard won knowledge and is not to be dallied with lightly whatsoever. The attitude here is that this body of knowledge should be accorded due respect. Being duly respectful sounds like a reasonable and even virtuous demeanor.

Personally I’m not sure I see how an atmosphere of civility and a wee bit of forbearance for making mistakes can be thrown out the window, though, and there still exist an environment for scientist (and other researchers) to be able to go forth and probe the edges.

There is so much that hints that there is yet much to learn – and that even our hallowed pillars may one day be overturned. For indeed, what can we say about scientific theories couched in continuous maths and yet experimentally we keep verifying that the true nature of the fabric of reality is that it is discreet? Continuity doesn’t ultimately map fully onto a medium that is innately discreet – it may simply appear as good approximation for perhaps a wide range of operational regimes; quoting from the Wiki again, this time regarding Plancks’s Constant:

This inherent granularity is counterintuitive in the everyday world, where it is possible to “make things a little bit hotter” or “move things a little bit faster”. This is because the quanta of action are very, very small in comparison to everyday human experience. Thus, on the macro scale quantum mechanics and classical physics converge. Nevertheless, it is impossible, as Planck found out, to explain some phenomena without accepting that action is quantized. In many cases, such as for monochromatic light or for atoms, the quantum of action also implies that only certain energy levels are allowed, and values in between are forbidden.

The formulas of classical physics are continuous maths and by that manner of categorization, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is still a kind of classical physics – thus at odds for reconciliation with the fundamentally discreet nature of quantum physics. With an eventual deeper understanding, something is going to give way here and end up being lumped into the same space as Newton’s Laws – that which serves as good approximation for some regimes of consideration and purposes, but not a true depiction of deeper underlying reality. One could say that the laws of classical physics are emergent.

By the way, that which is inherently discreet is of the realm of information processing. Physics is in transit to giving sway to the science of information processing as the ultimate discipline. Indeed, all fields of science these days are in route to being subsumed in some fashion under the umbrella of information processing.

Gentle reader, you may view the prior paragraph as a bit of fanciful assertion, but go undertake an investigation. First ask the question of whether all scientific inquiry is edging toward the auspices of information processing. Consider these books as a jumping off points:

Decoding Reality: the universe as quantum information

Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics

Then ask the question: Is the ultimate agency for the information processing that sustains our apparent observable reality an innately existing universe, or is it something still deeper?

To be continued…

In a future continuation article we will delve into more outlier phenomena while looking at another pathway to knowledge. We will posit that it is a necessity to break out of the confines of the epistemological box that our civilization (indeed our species) is currently trapped in.

MyCoreArticles (and some related links)
[awakening, synchronicity, Gnosticism, AAT, nature of reality/consciousness, etc.]
rogerv-50-percent

RogerV

Where Soul Meets Body (inaugural posting)

(Originally posted on: February 19, 2012 21:01)

I was woken up about four hours before I was due to come on my shift. There had been an accident. A man had been injured and the rig was in an upheaval. The victim was being rushed to shore for medical attention. Normal work patterns would come to a halt for a few days as there would now be a mandatory OSHA investigation.

I was on a oil drilling platform out in the ocean about 90 miles from Corpus Christi. I was on a rig that worked a rotation of 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. During those 14 days we worked 12 hour shifts. The person that had been injured was my counterpart on the opposite shift. In another four hours I would have relieved this person to take over the duties he was performing.

The well we were drilling had reached production bearing strata. The rig was now flaring off natural gas. We were removing drilling pipe from the rig’s pipe yard to make way for casing pipe. The casing pipe would be em-placed down the depth of the hole and left permanently. It would keep the hole from caving in over the operational lifetime of the well.

We were roustabouts. Due to longshoreman labor rules, when pipe was unloaded from the rig down to a barge that was docked to the rig, we would be sent down onto the barge. When our rig crane lowered a bundle of pipe to the barge, we would run up to grab tag lines, guide the load to where we wanted to set it using the tag lines, and then undo the cable at each end of the bundle of pipe.

The man that was injured had run up to grab his tag line, but right as he was momentarily situated below the pipe, the steel cable wrapped around the pipe at his end broke. About seven of these heavy pipes came down on him. He never regained consciousness and died within about six hours of the accident. Every day we’d visually inspect those cables and we had authorization to toss any cable overboard if we saw corrosion. Yet in the marine climate these cables could corrode from the inner twines and not necessarily be visible.

The man that died was 18 years old. I was due to be 19 in another month – the two of us were the youngest workers on the rig.

He had been excited to get this job and was looking forward to working for the company and advancing himself, in time, to higher positions.

For me, this had been a job I’d gotten after my freshman year in college. I’d already had two prior summers of experience working as a roughneck on land-based drilling rigs. Some alumni from my university, an engineer for this offshore drilling company, had gotten me on. It was good money. Because of my prior experience I was already often working as a roughneck on the drilling floor when they need a fill-in. For a few days I’d even worked the derrick hand position (situated 90 feet above the drilling floor).

That was the summer of 1980. It was a turning point situation in my life because the incident provoked a manner of more serious reflection than I’d really ever engaged in before. There were limited entertainment options out there and on my off time, I’d sometimes just spend it looking out over the ocean to the horizon and think about things. I fully realized that if that steel cable had lasted for another four hours it could have been me beneath that load of pipe. So the question naturally posed itself: In the grand scheme of things, why this other 18 year old and not me?

I’d had my scrapes before in this manner of occupation. One time on a land rig I was struck in the face by the spinning chain when the chain thrower had thrown it in such a way that a loop of chain swooped down and caught me in the face even though I was properly tucked down. The chain is pulled by a diesel powered cat head. The force of it threw me backward onto the ground. I got back up, picked my hard hat up and wondered why it had blood on it, and then I started to collapse and was caught by my co-workers. I got a trip to the emergency room, stitches, and a permanent scar on my right cheek.

On another occasion I was doing fill-in roughneck work on the offshore rig. The driller sent me to get a part from our storehouse, which was located on the opposite side of the rig. Everything is done in a hurry on a rig. I ran off the drilling floor and started down the walk way along the side. This walk way was situated right over the ocean below. There was some service hatch in the walk way that had been opened and not closed. I was going full tilt and didn’t see that. I dropped through the hatch way but instinctively threw my arms out and caught myself. There I was dangling about 60 to 70 feet above the ocean waves. If I’d plunged on through I’d been swept away and no one would have known what to think of my demise.

When I worked up in the derrick position, there was the occasion that derrick hands dread, when I’d lost a stand of pipe being pulled out of the hole. The pipe would go across the derrick to the side opposite of the little platform that I stood on. I then had no choice but to take the safety harness off and go crawling across the derrick girders to retrieve the stand of pipe. When it’s a stand of drill collars, they’re several times heavier than regular pipe. It’s not a situation for those that have the least bit fear of heights. You flub up and you fall and you die. Basically you got to learn to not ever lose your stand of pipe – the hallmark of a good derrick hand.

I ended up quitting this job as I decided that offshore rigs have a lot more going on and thus more ways to possibly die. I spent the fall semester out of school, though, and went back to roughnecking on a land rig. Yet due to the causality of that young 18 year old man’s death, my life during that off semester took a different direction than it had been on before – in the spiritual sense, that is. I admit I was keen to know that there was something more beyond our apparent physical existence in the here and now.

I wonder about the circumstances of that fateful 1980 summer and fall – particularly the elements of what is popularly dubbed as synchronicity. As I was out of school working in the oil field that fall semester, there were situations that lined up and resulted in my taking this rather different path. The problem with so-called synchronicity, of course is that what one person sees as meaningful from their personal perspective may not be so impressive to someone else. Certainly synchronicity phenomena can be difficult to quantify to scientific satisfaction.

It has been over 30 years since that episode in my life. In 2009 I began to have experiences that typically are dubbed paranormal. In 2011 and to into the present, I began to experience what I refer to as numeric synchronicity. On the order of about 30 times a day I glance at some digital numeric display and see multiples of 11 – most frequently 11 and 44, to a lesser extent 22 and 33. On the treadmill I run on 5 to 6 times a week I’ll also see 77, 111, or 444. Because it has several read outs, I’ll very frequently see these numbers in combination – as I just happen to glance down at the panel display. It was very weird and rather unsettling when it first started happening. I even started to log when it happened and then saw just how pervasive and relentless the phenomena is, day after day.

I don’t really like having to use the term “paranormal” as it’s a loaded term that automatically consigns a person to that “whacky New Age crowd”. That’s not an association I’m particularly comfortable with. I’ve never been comfortable with touchy feely explanations of things, but I have tended to remain open minded about what might be possible. There are some folks that operate with a very rigid world view and they automatically (and dogmatically) self-sensor that which doesn’t mesh with their world view paradigm. I’m not one of those kinds of folk. My inner intuition has always been a vague sense that things may be much stranger (and perhaps more wondrous) than we suppose.

This was a long introduction, but I wanted to give some back ground of where I’m coming from. Because of what I experience every day I now wonder if life is arranged to flow in ways that are perhaps ordered, perhaps meaningful. One proposition is that life, being the product of blind forces of an unconscious existence, is simply a random walk of events – utterly meaningless. From my life experience I’m not seeing it that way. I even ponder this question: Did that 18 year old choose a life plan prior to being born that culminated in producing side effects in the lives of others, such as myself?

These are the matters we’ll be pondering in my blog. Welcome to Where Soul Meets Body.

Roger-and-Deana-1981

Author and girl from Corpus Christi – about a year later after off shore incident

drilling-rig-mud-pumps-1979

A land-based drilling rig author worked on prior to the off shore drilling platform. View of drilling rig mud tanks and mud pumps from up on derrick platform.

drilling-rig-derrick-1980

Land-based drilling rig author worked on in fall after the off shore incident. The derrick has a stand or two of drilling pipe racked.

MyCoreArticles (and some related links)
[awakening, synchronicity, Gnosticism, AAT, nature of reality/consciousness, etc.]
rogerv-50-percent

RogerV