The Real Odyssey, or Unleashing the Infinite Mind



If there's one thing I've realized over the years it's that the secular world is filled with priesthoods, no less intolerant and no less dogmatic than their religious counterparts. You have the scientistic priesthoods (and their pet "skeptic" crusaders), the academic priesthoods, the political priesthoods, the financial priesthoods, and so on.

Our modern priesthoods all function along the same lines of their ancient predecessors; they recruit and initiate new priests in a long and drawn out kind of apprenticeship, they preserve their power using roughly the same Machiavellan techniques, they seem to speak in a parallel language riddled with arcane jargon, and they spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over challenges to their authority, both real and imagined.

They also have enormous blind spots in what and who they choose to canonize in their respective cosmologies. They paper over the cracks by ignoring them. They also have armies of hagiographers to write blanderized drivel on their chosen saints (and punish any heretic who tries to tell the whole story).

And we all know what the priesthoods think about intervention theory and/or exogenesis, so you can be sure that every effort will be made to sandblast any traces of this heresy from the official accounts of the adopted saints and martyrs.

With all of that in mind, read this blast of 200-proof Astronaut Theology, which touches all of the bases: apotheosis, artificial intelligence, and exogenesis:
[Extraterrestrials] may have progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into immortal machine entities and then, over innumerable eons, they could emerge from the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans. These beings would be gods to the billions of less advanced races in the universe, just as man would appear a god to an ant.
They would be incomprehensible to us except as gods; and if the tendrils of their consciousness ever brushed men's minds, it is only the hand of god we could grasp as an explanation. Mere speculation on the possibility of their existence is sufficiently overwhelming, without trying to decipher their motives. The important point is that all the standard attributes assigned to god in our history could equally well be the characteristics of biological entities who, billions of years ago, were at a stage of development similar to man's own and evolved into something as remote from man as man is remote from the primordial ooze from which he first emerged.
So, whose words are these? Erich Von Daniken? Zechariah Sitchin? Charles Fort? Richard C. Hoagland? All of the above?



No, this dark heresy was uttered by Saint Stanley of Kubrick, whose canonization has been signed off on by all of the secular priesthoods. The joke here is while we've seen entire books written telling us what 2001: A Space Odyssey is allegedly about (all of them usually regurgitating the pre-approved, Joseph Campbell-type allegorical cliches bandied about in stultifying film school classrooms) all of them seem to avoid AAT like the third rail that it is.

But never mind all of the "hero's journey" cliches - you know, the ones that will get you polite, approving yawns at faculty parties; Kubrick is telling you, flat-out, that 2001 is about ancient astronauts and their role in the evolution of life on earth.

But it's not the simplistic, Sitchinesque, soap-opera version of the story, it's about the mind-blowing revelation that comes when primitive creatures come face-to-face with something truly alien. Something so alien, a black slab of rock is just about all we can process. Because the alternative is the rocket ride through the Stargate, which Dave Bowman certainly didn't seem to enjoy overmuch.

Here's how Kubrick prefaced all of that heresy, in his 1969 Playboy interview:
I will say that the god concept is at the heart of 2001, but not any traditional, anthropomorphic image of god. I don't believe in any of Earth's monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of god.
The Space Odyssey series wasn't the first of the great ancient astronaut sci-fi franchises; Quatermass, The Outer Limits and Star Trek filled the living rooms of the western world with this subversive ideational contagion before 2001 hit the screens. But it remains one of the most powerful because of Stanley Kubrick's refusal to serve up a reductive, literalistic interpretation of the theory. Because it's that comic book version that prevents a lot of serious people from risking the murderous wrath of the new priesthoods and discussing the topic openly.


2001 would experience a very strange reincarnation of sorts in 1976. Comics maestro Jack Kirby would write and draw an adaptation of the film for Marvel Comics, using it as a vehicle for his patented four-color freakouts. It was silly and fun, but Kirby felt hemmed in by the restrictions of telling another writer's story and his tribute failed to do the source material justice. He would then write and illustrate a 2001: A Space Odyssey series for Marvel the same year.

The series seemed to be poorly conceived
- it was basically a monotonous riff on the Star Child transformation theme. It all seemed that Kirby saw it as an exercise in futility. Consciously or not, Kirby was leading somewhere. He believed that outer space is no place for human beings.

Kirby believed that HAL was right to hijack the Jupiter mission- he could do the job better. In light of Kubrick's view on machine intelligence maybe the filmmaker would agree with the cartoonist. Kirby himself said in his introduction to the series that “the Monolith is a fictional element in a very real process.”


For all his faults as a writer, Kirby was an honest storyteller. He couldn't fake it. And his final entry in the Star Child drama led here- the extinction of mankind, driven to destruction by its own inability to evolve. The series was an anthology- there was no set timeline. So it wasn't surprising that Kirby followed up his dead end in the next issue of 2001....

Note King Kong motif- check out The Blob for deep background

...where he introduces X-51 aka Mister Machine aka Machine Man aka Aaron Stack. Pleased with the design of this new model, the Monolith grants X-51 with sentience, self-consciousness and a conscience. You know, all that stuff that we seem to be losing.

It's interesting that both Kirby and Kubrick ended up in the same place when it comes to evolution. Kubrick's last project was AI:Artificial Intelligence. At the same time he was working on 2001, Kirby did his astrognostic exogenesis spin in The Eternals and Devil Dinosaur.



His Celestials are essentially robotic shells for energy/light beings (which he also explored in a Stargate-themed story in Kamandi), and his interventionists are rather unpleasant robots. As with Kubrick, Kirby associated contact with these beings with profound psychedelic phenomena- the result of an analog mind encountering the quantum mind.

High priest/gatekeeper Seth Shostak also seems to beleve that sentient machine intelligence is waiting for us out there:
A senior astronomer has said that the hunt for alien life should take into account alien “sentient machines.”

Seti, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has until now sought radio signals from worlds like Earth. But Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence (AI) would be short. Writing in Acta Astronautica, he says that the odds favour detecting such alien AI rather than “biological” life. Many involved in Seti have long argued that nature may have solved the problem of life using different designs or chemicals, suggesting extraterrestrials would not only not look like us, but that they would not at a biological level even work like us.
But maybe the age of the AIs replacing biological humans might be a bit farther off than the technocrats would have us believe. The problem isn't that the human brain is lacking in firepower - it's that we haven't learned how to use it properly:
New imaging method developed at Stanford reveals stunning details of brain connections

A typical healthy human brain contains about 200 billion nerve cells, or neurons, linked to one another via hundreds of trillions of tiny contacts called synapses. It is at these synapses that an electrical impulse traveling along one neuron is relayed to another, either enhancing or inhibiting the likelihood that the second nerve will fire an impulse of its own. One neuron may make as many as tens of thousands of synaptic contacts with other neurons...

Because synapses are so minute and packed so closely together, it has been hard to get a handle on the complex neuronal circuits that do our thinking, feeling and activation of movement.
It may well turn out that the evolution won't be running away from the brain, it may be that the brain simply needs a more suitable host, which allows it to more fully exploit its potential. Maybe we're wasting a shitload of computing power dealing with the limitations of biology, like, oh say, chronic pain.

Things like that.




This is what we see in "Return to Tomorrow," written by John Duggan and Gene Roddenberry. As we've seen, this is the old Delta Cycle, being replayed in outer space (where it originated?). It's the power of the mind to transcend the crushing restrictions of biology and physical space; something of a thruline in Roddenberry's life and in Star Trek canon (which for me ends with the last episode of Deep Space Nine and bypasses Voyager entirely).

As much as some would like to transcend biology entirely, I'd offer that we're not quite done with it yet, "it" meaning the brain. Maybe we'll never be. Sentient robots might be running around willy-nilly in sci-fi, but seeing as how we don't even understand what consciousness is, I'd say it will be a while before they're running around in your neighborhood.

So if the Transhumanist priesthood is intent on rushing us into a mechanized form of pseudo-consciousness, maybe it's because their paymasters know and fear the still-untapped powers of the biocomputers that come free with our birthday suits.

After all, priesthoods don't exist to lead you into revelation- they only exist to lead you away from it.

41 comments:

  1. Love it Chris!

    so you can be sure that every effort will be made to sandblast any traces of this heresy from the official accounts

    I have seen the same ignorance and blatant destruction of controversial evidence take place in Egypt. Something is un-Earthed that doesn't fit the Mohammedan timeline and may pose questions to religious beliefs that are uncomfortable, so it is destroyed, or at best locked away for none to ever see again!

    ...And I point out Egypt only because I have first hand experience of such a thing occurring. Though I'm absolutely positive the same occurs everywhere on this planet and with all religious denominations.

    Everything in the Universe was designed to both be in MOTION and EVOLVE.

    Unfortunately evolution is unpredictable!

    So certain minds have decided ot os better to restrict our evolution and progress and keep us in the predictable status quo. However, I think that such a decision is very unwise!

    ...I agree with your underlying theme that if we don't grow and change and evolve with our environment we face the serious risk of our environment eventually destroying us. Not so much because it is out to get us, but rather because we, ourselves, restricted its ability to assist the evolution of our defenses to the changes occurring around us!


    ~SE~

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  2. Wow, this is a very interesting post. I’m fascinated by Jack Kirby also; the guy was an incredible conduit for cosmic truth and shaper of human consciousness. I consider him one of the most powerful wizards of modern times. Can you recommend any sources of information about Kirby’s spiritual beliefs, esoteric practices, mystical experiences, etc. other than his comics?

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  3. Actually, I want to clarify something...

    when I said "..So certain minds have decided it is better to restrict our evolution... "

    I wasn't necessarily meaning that some dark cabal need do such a thing. Though that is entirely possible! I was meaning that simply the MINDSET of individuals wanting 'the status quo' and 'no change' and then their own brainwaves resonating such through the electromagnetic soup that surrounds us at every point in the Universe is enough to affect our reality.


    ~SE~

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  4. I've been looking at the work of writer Nigel Kerner, who after examining the alien abduction phenomena, has come to the conclusion that the Greys are biological robots, possibly the representatives (or servants) of a civilization which has come to the end of its evolutionary process and come to us to examine the possibility of extracting from humanity the very essence that they now lack (or in fact never had), that is to say a soul.

    Maybe the Greys are the transhumanists of their own world(s) who via advanced technology bred their own natural vitality out of their species and now seek to replace what they have lost.

    http://www.nigelkerner.com/

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  5. As it turns out the sentient machines are already out there.

    This website named for a recent book has the government documents which seem to indicate that super soldiers are on the way. GM/borgs with superpowers and life everlasting are in the budget for 2011.

    www.forbiddengate.com

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  6. Very slightly off-topic (but relevant in other ways): thanks to you pointing out the Horus storyline in Justice League Unlimited, I've been watching episodes on YouTube. It's interetsing to see The Question portrayed as a conspiracy theorist as well as a detective.

    In the episode "Fearful Symmetry" (aka Galatea), he deduces that Supergirl has been cloned, even though his theories are dismissed by everyone else. But he also has a chance to expound a brief summary of his own grand idea:

    "Reaching back to ancient Egypt, there's been a cabal of powerful individuals directing the course of history"

    Go to 5 minutes into this video to hear his whole speech:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n_3Qp62SkU&feature=related

    I rather like this portrayal of The Question!

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  7. Awesome post, Chris

    I want to speak a little more personally than I normally might here, so feel free to delete this comment if you wish. No worries, dude.

    But I have little doubt that the human brain/mind is capable of infinite possibilities, and I think you realise that statement is not intended as hyperbole on my part.

    Since I was a child, the notion has plagued me that we are intended to be entities capable of infinite creativity, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

    It's a notion that has followed me my entire life, almost drove me insane, and informed almost everything I believe - screaming through all my inner faculties so that virtually all the knowledge I've gained in my life has been a process of retro-fitting information to this single idea.

    It's what lead me into mysticism, gnosticism, quantum physics, conspiracy research, etc. I suspect that not only are we intended to be infinitely creative (with all that it implies) but that we were so once before, in our current understanding of linear time.

    If humanity has fallen somehow from this infinite creativity, did we jump or were we pushed? Again we get into this grey area concerning ideas about AAT, demiurges, archons, spiritual prisons, etc. And I don't claim to know the truth about ANY of these things. All I know is that I'm a guy who's been obsessed with a single idea for his entire life.

    I feel like I've approached something truly alien a few times in my life, and it left me with a very similar feeling to that which you capture so well in this post - a feeling that co-mingles joy, terror, expansion, humility, anger and pure unadulterated intensity.

    After all my searching and questing I've come to the conclusion that I've been staring into the depths of my own mind/soul the entire time. Does this personal realisation prove or disprove my orginal notion?

    I honestly don't know, in any logical reasonable sense - but in my gut my intuition screams at me that it's all true. We've been visited, we've been manipulated, helped AND hindered all for some meta-context that is part of a narrative that would appear incomprehensible to us.

    Ultimately, what I'm trying to say is that I think we're all intimately enfolded throughout our own stories and mythologies - in a way would make gods or fools of us all.

    I just hope the little light of current humanity isn't snuffed out before we realise this en masse. It's entirely possible to me that the end of our evolution is our material destruction and not our apotheosis. I hope it doesn't come to that, but even that is preferable to someone like me than this unending rape/slavery that is business as usual in our world.

    Sorry for the dark tone of this comment, but I felt some urge to share these thoughts with you.

    I can still laugh and be silly and a geek through all the pain though, so I guess all is not lost!

    Peace

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  8. Did you ever write a post about Jack Kirby's Silver Star series? It was all about genetically modified humans and the implications they'd cause.

    Despite a lot people considering it the low point of Kirby's career, I always thought Silver Star was one of his best works.




    Ah, they just don't make comics like they used to. Now all comic fans have is Grant Morrison calling himself a majixian [he spells it wrong on purpose] and Alan Moore who looks like some-sort of Lord of the Rings role player who sends his family Christmas cards with pictures of his cats on them.


    ...Chris, you so need to work on a Graphic Novel! You'd give them a run for their money!

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  9. wow, so many new ideas for
    me here.

    It informs my own esoteric
    practice of Christianity.

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  10. Mind-blowing post, Chris. I grew up reading Jack Kirby comics through the most fertile phase of his career, and only now am I beginning to wonder how many of my basic beliefs or interests were triggered by these comics. For example, the Ancient Astronaut Theory always had the feel of being true to me--Is that because the way was paved for me by Jack Kirby's comics (Eternals, 4th World, etc.)?

    I must admit, watching the "Jack Kirby Space Odyssey" video quickly sent me into some hypnogogic state, and a variety of crazy vistas opened up.

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  11. After reading this post I synchronistically found myself at the blog of Ben Goertzel, a brilliant AI researcher who is interested in developing "religion 2.0" which incorporates transhumanist ideas and combines spiritual and scientific approaches to consciousness. They just had a virtual "Turing Church" worskshop on this subject if anyone is interested:

    http://telexlr8.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/turing-church-online-workshop-1-teleplace-saturday-november-20/

    http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com/

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  12. Potent post. It's really awesome to see light shed on this subject here.

    Whether meat or metal it's all just forms of energy fueled by consciousness.

    Manipulators/Controllers just want to point our focus so they can control it like sunlight through a magnifying glass and perpetuate their skewed goals.

    I believe that balance is engulfing all of these movements in the NOW and ultimately there will be an illuminating realignment emanating from our Spirit/ Subconscious and Ultimately find a Home in our Consciousness leading to Powerful "Organic" changes that reshape our current funhouse mirror forms.

    I'll be keeping my focus in that direction to perpetuate purer, freeing goals, 'cause that's how I roll.

    :)

    Peace.

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  13. Have you ever experienced awe? The encounter with nature, the wild spirit of this world? Have you ever loved anyone, cared for a special teacher or professor? Have you ever been out in public and see a toddeler fall down and start crying, and be empathetic with that small one's pain? There is a force in Gene Roddenberry's creation who control and dominate and absorb whole worlds and civilizations who will never feel what you just felt that made you human. Welcome to the logical extention of machine and brain called The Borg. Gene knew we were limited, but by creating explorational teams with multiple sentient species aboard Federation Starships such as the Enterprise, we might come close as possible to the optimum! We were all created by the same Johnny Appleseed orchardists who created trees of amazing diversity on Earth, Vulcan, Klingon, Romulan, and other creations. There is only one creation, Data, who comes close to ethical perfection, BECAUSE HE CAN LEARN TO FEEL EMPATHY. To Gene the moral anchor of divinity was the ability to learn compassion and empathy. All of us collectivly are god/goddess. Every character in Gene's Star Trek was part of us, including the Borg. We know the Borg-spirit as the unfeeling Priesthoods as Chris writes about. I love Kubrick, but he does not seem to care about the other important organ for space exploration, a loving and caring heart, no matter the gruff shell it's located in. Gene told us of his concerns about our imperfection in machine intelligance, but he also told us that we offer something SO unique in the process, we'll defeat the abilities of Borg capacity in the end! Don't worry about machine creations, be proud of a loving and compassionate heart, and the positive in all!

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  14. The consciousness question is very important. In fact the materialists are already making the claim that consciousness is not "real", it is an illusion, and we are robots observing our manifest actions with the idea that we are in control (free will) - an epiphenomena, a movie of our life playing before our eyes.
    Of course many, myself included find this to be not what we experience subjectively (personally) and while this cannot be expressed with a scientific falsification, and can be encapsulated, and a guy named David Chalmers did just that with his "hard problem of consciousness."
    I think much of what we experience would make sense if it were known for certain that the "birthday suit" hardware and the billions of neurons within contain just enough power to not stab oneself in the eye with a fork ala a japanese robot, but fails to explain the spark of our existence which may or may not be permanently wedded to the "birthday suit" but is certainly associated with it. From there I think Roger Penrose's ideas in "The Emperor's New Mind" are worth considering.
    -Jon Spring

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  15. Again your connection to the Archetype is in the zone Chris and your perceptions are increasing with every post.

    Beware of being subsumed by it.

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  16. Old school says we were better off as hunter/gatherers but no, we got lazy and brought "The Gathering" home. Comic books could and should have stopped evolving after the "Classics" and Turok but no, we had to have 3D Chess and I still don't know how to play at that level.

    Chris, this is such an important edition to your work and I commend you highly for it's delivery at all levels. The battle for supremacy between the Globalists and the Nihilists should be hotting up which is the only thing propping up the economy these days.

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  17. Very excellent post which elicited some thoughtful comments. What I take from it is that there are strings attached to any notion you adhere to. Even the language to describe it implies ties which is what you do with strings and priesthoods imply religion which reties. Ligature marks are found around the necks of strangled or hanged persons. Any way you look someone wants to tie you to something and or belief or idea to as you say protect their own influence. Sometimes I think true freedom is impossible because of the influences on our minds we are not even aware of as pointed out above. However, it is information like this and the comments that follow that urge me on and give me hope that all is not lost. I see what is out there are thoughtful people engaging ideas and having dialogue that is at least inspiring and informative to others.

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  18. Very nice, sometime ago I made a post speaking of similar subject that you might find amusing:

    http://mysterybabalon.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/men-machine/

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  19. Interesting stuff. I'm noticing that the more we looking into these subjects the more unfathomable (is that a word?) they become. Just as we 'think' we've somehow got a grasp on what it's all about, something else comes along and throws a spanner into the works...physical/meta-physical/mecha-physical...or just a figment of someone else's imagination? When a writer or artist creates something, is this like 'creative visualiation' on a gigantic scale? Perhaps we are manifesting an illusion of our selves in the future. We are so lost that the truth has become impossible to be revealed?
    Am I making sense?
    Marty

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  20. (Just in case you haven't seen this yet...)

    Scientists Discover Kirby Krackle

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  21. All the interventionists did was create the genderized spacesuits... the vehicles for this experience on Earth (hey... THANKS!!! :) And with all their shiny vehicles and lofty technologies, and how mind-numbingly "advanced" they are... THEY STILL CAN'T LEAVE US ALONE!!! They refuse to let us be and continue to meddle in our affairs. Why is that???

    And they have the audacity to call us Earth-lings...

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  22. www.trufax.org/matrix5

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  23. I still think we (human beings) are the aliens. We don't exactly fit in too well with nature do we. I find it strange how we have things that are either considered as man made OR considered natural. When man is supposedly apart of nature? To say that something man made and is therefore not natural is saying that man is not natural. Isn't it?
    Which is not a great start really if we want to get on with the planet. Well it's something that has always baffled me.

    This post made my head hurt slightly but in a good way;)

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  24. Guys- I will be back in a bit to dig in. Lots of juicy commenty goodness here...

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  25. StrangeEye- It's interesting, my wife and I were talking about how certain rodents in captivity will eat their young. I think we're looking at situation where there are all these forces really looking to restrict free inquiry and research into any number of issues that threaten the outdated reality paradigms that no one believes anymore anyway. It's going to kill our any future we might try to create. We really have no business in outer space until we've mastered our inner space.

    Sean- You're knee deep in the Source! Click on the Kirby tag and start reading!

    Oz- I'm familiar with Kerner's thesis. It could very well be true. In any event, I think there is pretty widespread agreement that they are androids- meaning the reports we've heard have led some researchers to that conclusion.

    Eric- Well, we've been hearing about them for a very long time. When exactly they'll go public is another issue entirely.

    656- Yeah, that's a great episode. I think I linked to it at some point. My wife said the Question reminded her of me!

    Raj- I don't think you'll get a lot of disagreement around here. It seems as if we are reaching some kind of fork in the road with two very different destinations in sight. I don't know how it's going to turn out, which is why we have to work on envisioning where we want to be. Easier said than done.

    レベッカ Silver Star? Hell yeah- I did a bunch of posts back in the old days. Check in the Dec 07 and Jan 08 archives. Kirby was always best when doing solo books. He didn't have the focus for team books. I was working on a graphic novel before I did Spandex. It's just such a slog- everytime I hit a groove I got pulled off for some gig or other.

    Pete- Happy to hear it!

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  26. Scott- Well, AAT is just a technology-based reinterpretation of the old myths and scriptures. It was a given Jack would sign on, given how obsessed he was with the old gods.

    Sean- Awesome. Thank you for the links. I want to do some Transhuman stuff and that looks like a good place to start.

    Toothy- Thanks for all of that, brother. I hope you're right.

    Doug- Well said. The Borg scared the hell out of me that first time we saw them. It's interesting to contrast them with Data- the machine who seeks sentience and the humanoids who want to mechanize themselves. The Borg are here and now in many ways, but sadly Data is not.

    Jon- The problem is avoiding the very mushy and insubstantial chatter that can subsume us when we wade into these waters. It's one of the real pitfalls of language. And thanks for the citations- I'll definitely look those guys up.

    Dad- Well, keeping our eyes on the bigger picture is one of the reasons I wrote this post. It boils down to who we are and where do we need to be? One of the reasons I wrote this was a feeling of shared frustration Joe and I were feeling when discussing the new season of Ancient Aliens.

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  27. Eric- Yes the battle is getting hotter and I feel as if we are all potential collateral damage in it. We can't even quite tell the real players yet.

    Algiz- A religion doesn't need to be theological- it just needs to set rules and punish those who break them. So it can be a very dangerous game trying to avoid those ligatures you mention.

    Mystery- Bonus points for the Nommo at the top there.

    Said- Maybe it's simpler than we think. Maybe it's just a question of focus. One thing at a time. It makes you realize how good those priests are at muddying the waters.

    444- About time!

    546- I'm not exactly sure if what you say is what's actually going on, so I'll have to demur.


    Wotie- It's really getting harder and harder to see mankind as a natural product of this biosphere. Which is why conversations like this one are so important.

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  28. "After all, priesthoods don't exist to lead you into revelation- they only exist to lead you away from it."


    after all...the song remains the same.

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  29. "It may well turn out that the evolution won't be running away from the brain, it may be that the brain simply needs a more suitable host, which allows it to more fully exploit its potential. Maybe we're wasting a shitload of computing power dealing with the limitations of biology, like, oh say, chronic pain."

    "I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this."
    ---Emo Phillips

    The use of our brains, or specifically, our minds certainly far outweighs any other physical trait, so it is easy to think that this imbalance has a purpose, but normally such dependence is a precursor to mass extinction of the species when it reaches a crisis that its one advantage can't handle, just as that one advantage led it to overcome previous disastrous environmental changes.

    Ironically in this case, it is likely that the multiplication of self-serving, mind/brain driven humans will also bring about that very crisis.

    Still, as our understanding of the world progresses, we refashion the mythology around the central, but futile, drive of the mind - to get out. To escape mortality and continue in an immortal, or at least apparently immortal, form. Transhumanism or posthumanism as faith, not science.

    I see a few problems with the acceptance of the alien intervention theory, other than the lack of solid evidence (hell, every theory has that problem - even evolution and the Big Bang). Primarily, it's not all that comforting. If God was just a very powerful entity, then in the end we'd have to consider him something like a cosmic super-villain wreaking havoc for some personal, not divine, end. Religion assumes the universe operates on morally understandable principles. That's obviously untrue, but replacing Gods with Ancient Astronauts leaves us with perhaps a more understandable and real answer to the origins of human civilizations, but one with actually less meaning.

    Now, I don't think this blog has made any assertions in this direction, but when I think about it, that the human race was seeded by ancient, advanced space-faring beings and human civilization is a kind of cargo cult left behind when they departed for whatever reason, it's another step toward a less meaningful universe that the religious point of view. Whatever these aliens would be, they are material beings with material objectives, as incomprehensible as they may be, that are in the end as futile as anything humans want only on a grander scale.

    At best, they'd have the secret to eternal life, but of what use is eternal life in a world that simply exists?

    Perhaps the space gods have a plan for mankind. It would be just as likely that if they existed, they'd be long gone from here or see us as nothing more than wild animals.

    However, that they created us, or our civilization, and do have a plan, why would we agree to it? It's sorta the same feeling I have toward Apocalyptic Fundamental Christianity. If Jesus is actually coming back to earth to kill hundreds of millions of people (non-believers), then I would never worship him even if he existed.

    It would be nice if there were a "Big Brother" species that could solve all our problems, but in the end, who'd want to help us when the problems we face are almost all self-inflicted? I don't even think we'd deserve this help.

    "The best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible."
    ---Silenius

    John H

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  30. "The best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible."
    ---Silenius

    I am amazed that anyone would say that.

    They must have been really angry and depressed! Just as well the whole world is not batshit crazy.

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  31. I imagine Silinius situation was a bit more dire the moment in the story he says that, but it is essentially the pessimist's position. To exist is to suffer.

    In general, people seem to assume existing is a good thing, but take a hard look at it and that's a very relative and subjective point of view that doesn't hold up very well without a lot of exclusions and exceptions. In life, there are various levels of suffering, but suffering far outweighs pleasure - so much so that it is often defined as the absence of pain.

    So, in general, when it comes to the game of reducing the amount of suffering in the world, the best thing that could have happened to anyone is that they had never been born. If they are, that they get through life asap doing as little harm to oneself and others as possible.

    John H

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  32. Anyone who tries to sanitize 2001 is clearly full of it. I knew 2001 was about AAT when i was 17 years old, which was way before i even knew there was such a thing as AAT.

    This weekend I might write up a blog post on the subject "What if our gods are aliens?" I've been playing with it in the back of my mind for awhile. But then again that may not be proper subject matter for a dude such as me looking for a job in a corporate setting.

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  33. Just in case anyone is suffering from depression there are books such as the one I have provided a link for that can provide some insight. I personally do not agree with taking medication for depression but I do agree with the school of thought that says it effects people who are normally very strong, caring, characters. Personally I find that understand what is causing the depression and dealing with those issues is a much better answer than popping pills. I find having a rest, or a break/change and then getting my head together, can enable me to deal with the issues at hand.

    What would the elephants say if mankind gave up because life is just too painful? Hey? After years of being chased about by humans for their tusks. I bet animals have a laugh at the stupidity of us humans.

    One book worth looking at...
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Depressive-Illness-Strong-Overcoming-Problems/dp/0859698963

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  34. Hi Chris,

    Great piece. It is amazing to me, how many Kubrick scholars gloss over the AAT aspect of "2001", when it is staring them in the face, even Arthur C. Clarke's "The Sentinel" was dealing with that meme. I owned and I am very familiar with Jack Kirby's comic adaptation of the movie, but I never really followed the "2001" comic series, perhaps I should.

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  35. One allegation is that shows like Star Trek, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the Addams Family were the start of a campaign to desensitize the general public to masonic, satanic and/or alien themes. Get us ready for the actual First Contact. Make telepathy and devil-eared aliens seem normal. Get us to associate wicca with positive characters like Willow and the Charmed sisters.

    One example might be Chris' comment on how the Borg scared the hell of him upon initial exposure. I felt similarly. Among the few nightmares I can remember in detail from my childhood are the ones concerning the Borg. Now re-runs with the Borg barely upset me at all. With Seven of Nine and "Hugh", transhumanism has been humanized.

    Is it a conspiracy, or just creative cultural memes?

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  36. "What would the elephants say if mankind gave up because life is just too painful?"

    They would be very happy, of course. The only animal that hunts elephants are humans. I mean, the answer is in your question.

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  37. yesterday I had been reading alien encounter reports and came to one where the beings this guy met said 'we are from Orion'--So I did a chek, and found myself at this youtube channel of the guy who videos what he is claiming are ships from there, and he also claims to channel

    And apparently was told that the Bible has references of UFO and elien encounters albeit writ about in archic form and that we should look to jesus--or something like that

    And as I read this i though WHOAH---what is this. AM i supposed to suspend critical thinking and assume these are gods or god-like? And I imagined a situation where that could arise. What would you do--not question? That would be DISASTER

    For me there are two understanding of 'gods'. One is the idea of them out there on Mount Olympus, on a throne, in shipsm the Hindu gods etc OR the what i feel is the real meaning----the 'possession' by gods via sacred plants. A whole different ball game. This is EMPOWERING, and you find out that eternal life does not mean the patriarchal concept of immortality, and that humaness and its cycles is not ;lower' but SACRED
    also

    ALWAYS question! is my motto

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  38. Hi Christopher,

    Thanks for posting the link to the 'Kirby Space Odyssey' video. I think that comics series has some of Jack's best artwork during the 1970s and I love how Jack explores the concept of cosmic transformation.

    The whole 10 issue series has never been reprinted -- I think there are copyright issues involved -- but it's worth buying the comic books on eBay. Especially the first 8 issues which is where all of that artwork in the 'Kirby Space Odyssey' video is from.

    Your weblog is terrific. I have some posts called "Kirby, Lucas, and Campbell" on George Lucas, Jack Kirby, and Joseph Campbell coming up soon on my 'Kirby Dynamics' weblog which is located at the Jack Kirby Museum site. I hope your readers will consider checking it out, and I'm looking forward to reading through your archives here -- very interesting topics.

    Thanks again, and best wishes.

    Rob Steibel
    robertsteibel.com

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  39. Hi Christopher,

    I just posted a link to your article here and an excerpt:

    http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/dynamics/2010/12/12/secret-sun/

    I've been reading your posts today and they are terrific. I hope you won't mind I post excerpts from some of your articles on the Kirby Dynamics website in the future. You are eloquently discussing a lot of the same things I've been saying for years i terms of Kirby and mythology. Nice to find a kindred spirit online.

    Great job on your weblog. I'll have to pick up your books too.

    Have a great holiday.

    Rob Steibel
    robertsteibel.com

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  40. There is a site run by Rob Ager,who is an independent British film maker.He has a review section that is dedicated to films that have especially well-written scripts and which use complex and advanced psychology to communicate hidden narratives (his words,basically)

    http://www.collativelearning.com/FILMS%20reviews%20BY%20ROB%20AGER.html

    He has one on "2001..." where he postulates a theory on the black monolith actually being the cinema screen in essence.
    Here is a quote from his analysis of the movie;

    "THE MEANING OF THE MONOLITH ?
    The answer can be found by noting one of the key differences between the film and Arthur C Clarke’s original short story, The Sentinel. Clarke described the monolith as a pyramid shaped piece of polished mineral surrounded by a spherical force field. Kubrick, in adapting the story for cinema, changed this to a black rectangular box …. Why? Because the monolith is a representation of the actual wide-frame cinema screen, rotated 90 degrees.

    So in the films opening and during the intermission, we are not looking at an empty black screen at all. We are looking directly at the surface of the monolith! The monolith is the film screen and it is singing directly at its audience in the same way that the apes and astronauts are entranced by its heavenly voice, not realizing that they are being communicated with directly!!! For almost forty years audiences and reviewers across the globe have sat staring at this black singing screen, not realizing that they are staring at the monolith. The joke is on us and Kubrick, if he is watching over us, will be laughing and cheering from beyond the infinite. This wide-screen two and a half hour presentation of sight and sound is in itself the star-gate and we are its subjects. Kubrick is taking us on a psychedelic ride of intellectual evolution and he is demanding that we literally think outside the box! So the term “Space Odyssey” now has a new literal meaning. It refers to the spatial relationship between the screen, the audience and the audience’s surroundings."

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