Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Mandate of Heaven

I realize I haven't updated the blog in over a week. Most of my free time has been spent buried in research, and spending a lot of time not being able to believe what I've been finding.

And it seems that every time I found myself stuck at a dead end, some new connection or clue would fall out of absolutely nowhere and open the story up all over again. 

It's a story that seems ready to finally be told. It seems to want to be told. The problem is that doing so on a blog is simply not practical. It requires a lot more time and effort.

But it seems that the world outside continues to crumble and shatter and dis-integrate. As I write today there was a devastating car bomb attack in Baghdad, ostensibly blamed on Islamic State.

But I've been reading countless texts talking about the centuries of slaughter that took place in the very same places we are seeing it today, thousands of years before anyone ever heard of Islam.

A Babylonian court poet would call on an ancient incarnation of Lucifer in protest of the carnage in a famous epic poem of the time. The Babylonian version of Lucifer was not a devil either, he the "firstborn son of God" and the "shepherd of mankind," who was "the door," that blocked the gods of war. He was even called on to drive out demons. (Gee, this all sounds oddly familiar).

Yet, when it came time to defend his people, the Babylonian Lucifer did so with "zeal."

Reading all this historical material I am thunderstruck by how familiar it all seems. The Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians- perhaps more than anyone in history, they all thought they enjoyed the Mandate of Heaven. 

Until they didn't.

Rome was the Eternal City. Until it wasn't.

Then, as now, the enigmatic complexity of the Lucifer archetype suits the complexity of the world, no matter how hard ideologues across the spectrum try to pretend complexity away. 

It suits the difficult choices many of us will find ourselves having to make in the days ahead. As much as some might look for simple answers, they'll be faced instead with increasingly complex questions.

Indeed, many now believe that the current political, social, and economic arrangements are not only unsustainable, I think most intelligent people agree that if we continue on the roads we are on, all these social and political trends are all leading us to wide-scale civil conflict. And possibly worse.  

This is especially relevant in the wake of Brexit, which too many people seem to think was a populist uprising and not in fact the brutal calculation of business elites chafing under the yoke of the EU's Byzantine regulatory regime. Either way, the Rubicon has been crossed and Europe's troubles have only just begun.

Not to mention NATO's, which fester in the shadow of Russia and China's rise as serious military powerhouses (and the subsequent collapse of most of Europe's military capabilities). This at a time when serious questions are being raised about the rolling porkfest that we call the American defense budget.

There are a lot of people predicting the dawn of a new Dark Age anyway, for many parts of the world at least, that systems are always inherently finite and subject to collapse and that there are simply too many pressures on them already, that breakdown is inevitable. 


Think about this; at some point, hackers, probably state-sponsored, are going to unleash not a virus, but an artificial intelligence on the Internet with one simple command: "crash everything you can." 

I'm sure there are programmers working on algorithms designed to crash Facebook, to crash Google, to crash Apple, as we speak. At some point this is going to happen. It may even work.

Similarly, I can't help but wonder if there is a force at work deliberately trying to crash the neoliberal, Capitalist world order from within, attacking it from its left rather than the right, or if it's finally succumbing to its own contradictions. 

Maybe there's a reason hedge fund billionaires are buying remote island getaways. We all want to believe that the elites know what they're doing, which means it will all work out somehow, but maybe they don't. 

Maybe they've been bluffing all along.

So as intractable as many beliefs and attitudes might seem at the moment, or how powerful certain arrangements, institutions or alliances may appear, history teaches us that once open conflicts begin, many of them will shift radically and many will actually dissolve, literally overnight. 

What makes sense in an aura of relative peace and prosperity falls away when civil war and economic disaster strike. Or as Mike Tyson once said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

We're already seeing a return to an archaic kind of paganism, not the happy-funtime LARP variety of the alleged neopagans, but the grim, fatalist paganism of Santa Muerte and the Wotanist sects. The old-time paganism where things get killed. This may in fact be humanity's default setting. A careful reading of history probably backs that up.

Suddenly, the demon-haunted nights of ancient Mesopotamia seem relevant again. Where exactly does Babalon end and Lilith begin?


Our mythic history is filled with ambiguous figures offering us technologyparticularly rebellious figures like Prometheus (a Titan) and Semjaza (an Angel), but even more established figures such as Hermes, Cadmus, and Osiris, the civilizing forces of the ancient world. 

There's always been a shadow side to these figures, speaking to our desire to return to Edenic innocence.  

The common denominator is that the figure who is a teacher of actual practical techniques with which to improve the human condition, not just abstract philosophies or spiritual dogma, is never really completely trustworthy. These characters are something we seem to have mixed feelings about, and always have.

But Osiris and Cadmus have more in common with Prometheus and Semjaza than one might think at first. Osiris, the civilizer, got pretty messed up himself by Set, who came to represent authority when he took the throne. Afterwards Osiris became a figure of judgement, leaving all the nurturing to Isis. 

Another way of looking at it is that Osiris became the King of Hell.

Cadmus was punished by Zeus for killing the Dragon of Mars and condemned to spend eternity as a serpent, in much the same way as the Serpent in the Garden was cursed by Deus to crawl on his belly for leading Adam and Eve to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The parallels between the two narratives could fill a really boring academic treatise.

Hermes himself would often use his bag of tricks against the gods- authority, that is- on our behalf. In some ways, Hermes could be said to be a rebel himself, in that he was willing to bargain, to cut deals, to work magic with us, all away from Olympia's all-seeing eye. 
But at the same time Hermes was never to be entirely trusted. He had a devilish streak all his own.

Even so, Hermes certainly seemed to be more interested in human beings than the other Olympians which is why he was seen as a rock star in the ancient Mysteries.

Prometheus not only gave fire to humanity but also taught the civilizing arts and sciences. For those favors Zeus dreamed up a particularly sadistic torture, the sick, kiddie-raping bastard. Semjaza and his band of Hell's angels were tossed into the pits for doing pretty much the same. Again, the offense here was going up against the established order, which in the ancient world's conception of the universe was the same as upsetting the cosmic order.

The mandate of Heaven. 

Then, as now, there was an ambivalence about this process and an ambivalence towards science and technology in general. Science and sorcery were one and the same back then, after all.  

And truth be told, science doesn't have an unblemished track record when it comes to creating human suffering.

Machines and engines of war were undoubtedly known to the authors of Enoch (the Assyrians were masters of them), and the skills that the Watchers taught their human followers were the literal double-edge sword; war became a much nastier affair than it had been, or at least it seemed to be in the ancient legends. 

With technology came sieges, ruined cities and dead babies. It would only get crazy worse when the Romans came to town with their artillery (you saw Gladiator, right?).

So Enoch makes special mention of the bloodshed that followed on the heels of the fallen angels' technology as the reason for the archangels stepping in to send the Watchers off to Tartarus. Or so the story goes. Enoch neglects to mention what favors the Archangels ever did for us.

So if Lucifer-- in whatever ancient incarnation you choose to perceive him, take your pick -- was condemned and or exiled in an age when earthly and heavenly authority were seen as contiguous, he's bound to be freed in an age when authority is increasingly seen necessarily as corrupt and illegitimate, no matter where you sit on the ideological spectrum.

I'm more and more convinced of this having discovered who he really is, how far back his history goes (at least twenty-five centuries before Jesus) and how exactly he was called on by magicians and sorcerers for thousands of years- Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian magi, even Jewish exorcists recognized his elemental power. 

Lucifer was a god of the people, not the temples or the kings. This is a covert tradition.* 

He was called on when shit got severe, when nothing else seemed to work. When you were fucked. His spells make Norwegian Death Metal sound like the Berenstain-friggin'-Bears, even today.

His fearsome rep is well earned, believe me. Not a god to be trifled with.

Then, as now, it seems that this current is not only aroused during times of crisis, it actually thrives on them. Crisis points are actually when the subroutine is activated.

And appropriately enough, the hacker who exposed the Clinton email scandal (and many other members of the elite) calls himself "Guccifer." If that isn't a sign of the times I don't know what is. 

There's even a Guccifer 2.0 now.


Technology- knowledge- is the defining standard of power of our time, and so the struggle against the Mandate of Heaven in the future will be over technologies, or more concisely, systems of knowledge. 

Yet we're seeing technology having a devastating effect on human intelligence and basic competence. This is exactly what I warned Timothy Leary about back in 1993 when he was going around hawking virtual reality. I told him that the more people immersed themselves in virtual environments the less they would be able to function in the real world.

He got very angry at me over this but this recent "adulting" theme has proven me right. Young people who are whizzes on their smartphones but can't boil an egg or drive a car has become kind of a joke, but it's not really funny if you want to sustain a functional civilization.

This ties back to the question of human evolution, which not only makes no sense in relation to all the other animals on the planet but has no actual internal logic either. Threats, intimidation and harassment help keep most biologists quiet but the gaps are there, they're glaring and only getting worse. 

We won't even go into the face-punching absurdity of cavemen genetically engineering wild wheat into a usable food crop.

And perhaps most glaring of all, our science and technology seem to have an anti-adaptive aspect, in which they encourage us to de-evolve. 

And they also seem to discourage us from spiritual pursuits, which has a proven historical track record of demographic collapse for cultures that embrace the scientific at the expense of the spiritual. This goes back to Ancient Greece at the very least, and probably long before.

This too might be at the core of our ambiguity towards technology. It's certainly at the core of many traditional societies' briefs against Western Culture. And they have a point.

Whatever we think or do, there is a War in Heaven, as Gordon puts it. People in high places are fighting over these very same issues. I think a lot of powerful people have come to realize that the technocratic utopia that dominates Western thinking now is a mirage and trying to reach it will only end in tears. 

That doesn't mean these people are on your side. But it does mean that things may be opening up in very interesting ways in the near future. This may or may not have to do with space weather, which seems to be shifting, finally. But I do think things are about to change and change hard.

*This we can tell by the glaring difference between the paucity of available texts and the near-monotheistic devotion to him described in those we actually do have.


  1. Christopher, you've struck upon alchemical gold and grail emerald with these posts. We love ya, and we got your back.

    1. Yeah, it's weird. It's really the last thing in the world I intended to be doing this year. But I can't let a mystery go once I get the scent. And there's this connection between then and now I can't put my finger on and can't let go of until it reveals itself to me.

  2. Land of the brave and home of the free! Being present is key. Amazing you told Leary the dangers of Virtual worlds. Chris you are an amazing story teller. To bring light to all that is occulted. Dennis

    1. Yeah, it was then I saw through the mask. I didn't want to antagonize him he was just talking such nonsense I couldn't handle it.

  3. Of direct relevance to your post... and please do read the link to the article in WaPo on the exorcist.

    1. You have to wonder again where it all comes from and whether there was a Trojan Horse on the Plains of San Agustin...

  4. 'Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow (tomorrow) You still wander the fields of your sorrow 21st Century Man'

    ELO 21st Century Man
    From the album Time (1981)

    For what it's worth, at least in my opinion, ELO's best album.

    1. Never heard that one- I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

    2. I think though, that King Crimson's 21st century schizoid man was a bit more on target.

  5. And Terence was also swaying towards the imagined techno utopia....Mmmmmm....

    1. Well, let's try to be optimists and hope this is just a rough patch.

  6. Chris, you are on an awesome roll with this. Can't wait to see where it goes.

    1. A roll is a good metaphor. I'm rolling down a hill and wondering where it ends!

  7. This makes me think about the Cain and Abel story also. Where you can look at it in terms of Cain, the artificer of technology (i.e. agriculture and the work of manipulating nature to get results) as opposed to Abel the shepherd who tends the flocks and makes the blood offering that is so pleasing to the Lord. Without our technology, where are we and what do we have that makes us different than the sheep that need tending?

    Clearly, the story instructs us that the technological man uses his skills to kill other men and then learns the secrets of social engineering people into cities as you engineer the fields of crops to harvest. These innovations of technology, applied to crops, people, and hard drives and memory are no different in their purpose to produce a better yield whether your crop is corn, human toil, or data.

    In "2001: A Space Odyssey", Kubrick uses the influence of an alien intelligence as a guide to human evolution through manipulation of food resources to affect diet that in turn affects brain function and development which leads to innovative cognitive thinking and skill development. To the benefit of the emerging proto-humans, this means weapons, death dealing, and dominance over resources and quantifying system of control. And with that, all of those associated horrors rolling down through the bloody ages of war, death, and the sway of one ideology dominating over another. Back and forth like the ticking of a pendulum marking the slow climb of humanity away from the cocoon of the earth and into space.

    Now going with that, where are we with this question about the ambivalence of technology? Is this all some greater part of a story that we are all share in some unimaginable and intimate way or is this just the fall back of our current civilization into yet another period of dark ages?

    I can't believe that with all of these clues and stories and information that Chris is digging out and sharing with us, that we are just going to drop the ball after thousands of years of moving it forward. Slowly, stupidly, and mistakes certainly being made along the way, but forward nevertheless.

    What else would these smirking, tricksy gods and goddesses be doing with us otherwise? If our current technology is being hoarded into the coffers of the prime elite as some would suggest, then perhaps this is the next step in bringing that to some kind of head. We, as representative of people who care for our planet as well as our neighbors, both human and non-human, who also dwell along with us---we should welcome this change, as scary and as uncertain as it may be.

    It may be just part of the growing pains we must suffer along the way to whatever the place is that these other influencing intelligence's are goading us to, if we take the Kubrick slant on this.

    If it turns out to be darker than the world we have already made for ourselves, I can't imagine why it would be so.

    Humankind has always depended on our tools to make it in what would be an otherwise strange and hostile environment to us. I have never been comfortable with the notion that we are actually "from here" because at our core, we seem oddly displaced to this environment. We have to work hard to make a living here. Do we do it as the one who tends the sheep and siphons off the lower life forms for our sustenance, or do we use our brains to create and innovate our way to a better life?

    Our tools are supposed to make things easier for us in the long run. If we are letting ourselves become stupid by the effectiveness of our own innovations, then maybe we ought to look to ourselves for the answers to our flaws in that regard? It is not so much the fault of our tools as the one who wields them or is allowing themselves to be wielded by them.

    1. There's an excellent of The Outer Limits called Final Exam I recommend everyone check out. It's about a graduate student who invents a cold fusion bomb and freaks out realizing that this how civilizations end. That discoveries like the atom bomb happen inevitably and it doesn't matter who actually does the math. And now the Peace of Great Powers that the atom bomb brought is fraying and US and Russian jets are playing chicken with each other, just itching to trigger a larger conflagration. So there are the Trickster gods and then there is Mars and Kali and Erra, ever-thirsty for blood. That's the factor we often forget when we sit around and admire our cleverness.

    2. So, the price of our cleverness is destruction? I get that we modern humans are warlike and seem to have always been. Whether we blame that on our tools, influencing Watchers, or a serpent crawling up through the garden of our spines, I can't sit with this idea that we are made with the potential to be clever, but like Lucy holding the football, our cleverness gets perpetually yanked away just as we are making the big kick? Angry trickster gods. Even if the gods turn out to be nothing but some kind of Jaynesian projection of our own consciousness yammering away in our skull caves, I wonder if deep down, we harbor some guilt in ourselves for the sacrifices in blood that have been the direct result of our technological advances. It seems that even we, as glossy eyed images of Cain, must appease the blood thirsty god afterall---whether we like it, want it, or agree to it or not?

  8. Bill, indeed this merry-go-round is inherent samsara. Us beings of a sentient nature, in this incarnation are doomed to suffer. With compassion we can help others with their suffering. With mindfulness we can begin to understand our future. Gnosis. Shine forth brave souls. Dennis

  9. when you mentioned the need and the call we make when everything is messed up, i've remembered the phrase "fire purify"

  10. Chris, interesting to see your reference to Santa Muerte as ' grim' and 'fatalist' - Dr. R. Andrew Chesnut, Chair of Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, and I are working on a long term project tracking the development of her devotional tradition and she's actually taking on a rather positive public image:

    Most of her devotees see her as a loving godmother and miracle worker. No denying there's a dark side, but the development of her tradition in the public sphere is quite different than the 'narco-saint' image she's given in the mass media.

  11. Cadmus. That's a name that doesn't seem to come up often.

  12. Worth noting the etymological link between Watchers and Dragons:

  13. According to Rabbinical lore, Semjaza WAS the Serpent in Eden who *seduced* Eve; in fact his pounding of her proto-human flesh was so intense that it taught Adam the art of cuckholding and convinced him to let his 200 Watcher buddies in on the action.

    The rebellion of the Watchers was basically a violation of space alien shore leave rules that spiraled out of control when they started trading technology for booty calls. They didn't care if that technology made us into more powerful assholes so long as we kept throwing females at them for all of the trinkets they bribed our ancestors with.

    Now we have to contend with a ruling class made up of elites who still think of themselves as descended from those 'divine' Watcher origins...I fail to see how that was any kind of a favor to humanity...