In the last couple of months the TV show Ancient Aliens has been brought up to me in conversation, and as (someone who has been reading about the Ancient Alien hypothesis since before the year AD 2000) it is always difficult to discuss a topic with peole who have only watched the horrible show.
With that being said, I’d like to share some thoughts from a 2015 episode of Coast to Coast AM.
George: Now back to the ancient civilisation: might they have been ET related in terms of technology and help?
Graham: Well, um. Let me make clear that I’m—I am not an advocate of the Ancient Alien Astronaut Theory.
Graham: Um, and that’s for a number of reasons. Firstly I need to be absolutely clear that I have nothing against the idea of ancient astronauts or of alien intervention in human affairs. Um, we won’t talk about this at length tonight but I have had experience of contact with intelligences, with non-human intelligences, but those experiences have been achieved by altering my state of consciousness…
Graham: …using the South American visionary brew called ayahuasca, and I have had classic ET contact experiences in that state and I think that one of the things that we need to do to investigate this mystery further, just as we investigate the physical aspects of the alien abduction phenomenon we should also be deeply investigating it’s implications for consciousness, ah and the possibility that by changing our state of consciousness we may contact ah and communicate with non-human intelligence. I think that’s worthy of real, deep research. That being said, having spent quarter of a century travelling the most intriguing, the most beautiful, exciting and mysterious ancient archaeological sites in the world, really walking the walk, investigating and exploring these sites—not just reading about them—but being there with my feet on the ground, sometimes for months, the conclusion I’ve come to is that I have not seen anything in any of these mysterious ancient sites that I could only explain with a culture that had the technology to cross into stellar space. What I see is evidence of incredible advancement, way beyond the period of time—at a time when human beings are supposed to have just been hunter-gatherers—we see evidence of huge advancement and great technical skill and knowledge, but I am of the opinion—I’m not going to completely rule the alien aspect out—but I am of the opinion that what we are dealing with is a lost advanced human civilisation, and that it much more brilliantly explains the anomalies that are raised by the ancient astronaut lobby ah than the notion of ancient astronauts themselves—in other words, I think that these ancient and mysterious sites around the world are very poor evidence for the ancient astronaut hypothesis, I don’t think they serve it well, when you really investigate those sites the notion that aliens were involved in building them doesn’t make sense—for example, the great pyramid is an incredibly precise and accurate monument, six million tonnes, 13 acre footprint, and its just 3/60th of a single degree of true north—but hey, if you can cross interstellar space and navigate all the way to this pale blue dot, and you’re involved in some way in building the pyramid, you are gonna get it dead on…
Graham: …not 3/60th of a degree off. So that looks like human error to me, but it looks like the human error of a very advanced culture.
The key part that I’d like to emphasise to my readers is near the beginning, “I have had experience of contact with intelligences, with non-human intelligences, but those experiences have been achieved by altering my state of consciousness using the South American visionary brew called ayahuasca, and I have had classic ET contact experiences in that state and I think that one of the things that we need to do to investigate this mystery further, just as we investigate the physical aspects of the alien abduction phenomenon we should also be deeply investigating it’s implications for consciousness, ah and the possibility that by changing our state of consciousness we may contact ah and communicate with non-human intelligence. I think that’s worthy of real, deep research.”
Why is this of interest, excluding the obvious interest such a statement intrinsically breeds? If the reader follows the theological perspective that this blog puts forward—which is, that aliens are demons—then it follows that, at least in part, some times some of what we encounter in the psychedelic realm is demonic as well.
“The “astral plane” can also be contacted (but not necessarily in an “out-of-body” state) through the use of certain drugs. Recent experiments in administering LSD to dying persons has produced very convincing “near-death” experiences, together with a “condensed replay” of one’s entire life, a vision of blinding light, encounters with the “dead” and was non-human “spiritual beings,” and the communication of spiritual messages concerning the truths of “cosmic religion,” reincarnation, and the like….
It is well known that the shamans of primitive tribes enter into contact with the aerial world of fallen spirits in “out-of-body” states, and once “initiated” into this experience are able to visit the “world of spirits” and communicate with its beings.
The same experience was common among the initiates of the “mysteries” of the ancient pagan world. In the Life of Saint Cyprian and Justina (Oct. 2) we have the first-hand testimony of a former sorcerer concerning his experiences in this realm. . . .”
-Fr. Seraphim Rose, The Soul After Death
“In my opinion, the primary nexus point of the spread of these Teachings [Yoga in the West and the occult revival of the late nineteenth- and twentieth-century magical orders] in modern culture was the phenomena of the 1960s and more specifically the use of LSD by many of my generation. Raised on Lassie and The Lone Ranger, we were catapulted into the fourth dimension by a liquid spot on a piece of paper or cube of sugar. With no preparation, a number of people experienced advanced—if thoroughly chaotic—states of mind, to which many experienced adepts, who had done the work unaided by the miracle of modern chemistry, felt were not entitled. Introduction to such psychic realms had been reserved for millennia to patient chelas of demanding gurus who had rules of behavior for those who sought after such mysteries.
There were immediate consequences. The stoned-out hippies of Woodstock were replaced by pool-cue-wielding Hell’s Angels at Altamont. Baba Ram Dass was preaching love and meditating in India while Charles Manson’s “Family” was committing horrors I am loathe to describe. As Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison died in rapid succession and at roughly the same age, we knew something was wrong. The explosive deaths of three members of the Weathermen revealed a communist bomb factory in a wealthy Greenwich Village townhouse. The sociopath Eldridge Cleaver imprisoned Timothy Leary, himself widely accused of being a government agent. Then John Lennon was shot; Abbie Hoffman committed suicide. . . .
[…]The point is that a sea change occurred in the West. Aleister Crowley predicted it in a letter to Grady McMurtry, later Caliph Hymenaeus Alpha of Ordo Templi Orientis. Crowley wrote in 1945 that some twenty years hence he expected a radical transformation in consciousness to occur. Crowley’s particular influence in creating it (by, among other things, introducing Aldous Huxley to mescaline) was significant.”
-James Wasserman, “Introduction,” in Nancy Wasserman’s Yoga for Magick
A. Greek Primer
E. Greek Reading Videos (Greek 3 & 4) – Advanced
Learning Greek Vocab: learn every Greek word that occurs 10x or more in the NT by studying for 20 minutes a day for about half a year.
July 20, 2015 – Keep Your Greek: Choose the Right Bible
August 5, 2015 – Keep Your Greek: Don’t Lose Your Vocabulary
August 16, 2015 – Keep Your Greek: Taking Greek Electives
October 8, 2015 – Keep Your Greek: Reading Greek Devotionally
January 15, 2017 – Keep Your Greek: Get the Best Resources
I started this list off of searching a bunch of last names that Dr. Robinson wrote in a response to a blog post. The point is people who “paved the way” for the Byzantine Text, as opposed to the Textus Receptus. Any help in expanding and clarifying this list is greatly appreciated.
1794-1852 – Johann Martin Augustin Scholz
1813-1891 – Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener
1886 – Edward Miller – A Guide to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament
2005-2018 – Dr. Maurice Robinson
From September 12th’s Daily Stoic:
Michel Foucault has a fascinating essay on journaling entitled “Self-Writing.” In it, he describes journaling as a “weapon in spiritual combat,” which is a brilliant phrase. That might seem to be overstating it, after all, is it really such a big deal to write down some of your thoughts in a notebook?
Yes. It is a big deal. As he puts it, “writing constitutes a test and a kind of touchstone: by bringing to light impulses of thought, it dispels the darkness where the enemy’s plot are hatched.” He quotes Seneca and Epictetus as evidence of this, since both believed that simply reading or listening to philosophy wasn’t enough. Philosophy to the Stoics was not just “practical” but designed to be practiced. You had to write it down too, you had to show your work. You had to put the issues you were struggling with down on paper and go through the motion of articulating the solution that you’d heard from a master or a teacher.
Foucault explains that this process has two benefits. First, it takes the philosophy from “meditation to the activity of writing and from there to…training and trial in a real situation–a labor of thought, a labor through writing, a labor in reality.” The second part, he says, is this becomes an endless, productive cycle. “The meditation precedes the notes which enable the rereading which in turn reinitiates the meditation.”
It’s quite beautiful. You learn. You struggle. You journal about the struggle. You apply what you’ve journaled about to your struggle. You reread your journaling and it teaches you new lessons to journal about and use in future struggles. It’s a truly virtuous feedback loop.
But of course, this process can only happen if you do the work. If you make time for the journaling and the writing, if you submit to the cycle. Too often, we are unwilling to do that. We claim we don’t have time. We are too self-conscious. We don’t have the right materials.
Nonsense. Start. Today. Now.
From today’s Daily Stoic email:
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria wrote in Vita Antonii that the reason he did his journaling–his confessing, as the genre was called by the Christians–was that it was a safeguard against sinning. By observing and then writing about his own behavior, he was able to hold himself accountable and make himself better.
“Let us each note and write down our actions and impulses of the soul,” he wrote, “as though we were to report them to each other; and you may rest assured that from utter shame of becoming known we shall stop sinning and entertaining sinful thoughts altogether…Just as we would not give ourselves to lust within sight of each other so if we were to write down our thoughts as if telling them to each other, we shall so much the more guard ourselves against foul thoughts for shame of being known. Now, then, let the written account stand for the eyes of our fellow ascetics, so that blushing at writing the same as if we were actually seen, we may never ponder evil.”
The Stoics journaled for much the same reason. Seneca said the key was to put the day up for review so that one could see their faults and find a way to mend them. Epictetus said that by writing, reading and speaking our philosophical journal, we keep the teachings top of mind and are better able to follow them. Marcus, of course,said less on the subject of journaling, but left us the greatest lesson of all: his example.
When you pick up Meditations, what you see is a man confessing, debating, considering, and struggling with all of what it means to be human. Marcus said in one of his notes that he should “fight to be the person philosophy made you.” His journal is the play by play of that fight–it’s his battles with his temper, with his urges, with his fears, even with his mortality. It took a lot of work, but from what we know, he won most of those battles. Through his writing and his philosophy, light prevailed over darkness.
It’s a grand tradition and an inspiring example that each of us is called to follow. The Daily Stoic Journal is one way to do that. It prompts you to prepare for the day ahead and review the day just past. It gives you big questions to consider and standards to guide yourself towards. A blank notebook can work too. So can a letter or an email to a friend. So can a silent conversation with yourself on a long walk.
The point is, you have to do the work. You have to put up the safeguards. You have to actively fight to be the person philosophy wants you to be…in the pages of your journal.
Readers of this blog will recall that back in February I was one of four representatives of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada) at a multi-city Youth Interfaith Initiative hosted by the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church’s Canadian Diocese and funded by the Colonial Government of Canada. I just got back from camping and hiking in Grasslands, Waterton Lakes, Banff, and Jasper National Parks and am still catching up on my emails; I have been asked to share the documentary of the event on my website and social media. So here it is.
Readers of this blog will recall that back in February I was one of four representatives of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada) at a multi-city Youth Interfaith Initiative hosted by the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church’s Canadian Diocese and funded by the Colonial Government of Canada. I just got back from camping and hiking in Grasslands, Waterton Lakes, Banff, and Jasper National Parks and am catching up on my emails, and so it turns out I have been asked to share the trailer on my website and social media of the documentary of the event. So here it is.
Now the Spirit manifestly saith that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and doctrines of devils, Speaking lies in hypocrisy and having their conscience seared…
-1 Timothy 4:1-2 (Douay-Rheims)
I’m not even sure how I exactly stumbled across this video—presumably through the massive amount of time I waste wading through the internet’s sewers as I distract myself from doing some real reading… Does it matter though? I found it, and I watched it. The unusual thing is that this, unfortunately, isn’t the first time that I have come across John Crowder.
Way back in 2009, before I was even Orthodox, I first came across and read the name John Crowder on a book in my dad and stepmom’s kitchen on the cover of a book my stepbrother was reading for some Evangelical/Non-Denominational summer course he had quit his job to attend. My stepmother encouraged me to read it, saying that I would like it, but even then, my bullshit detector was already internally beeping.
As that day went on all four of us went for lunch, my stepbrother shared more of what he been learning about at that time, and I shared the little I had been gathering about Orthodoxy and the early Church—areas and information of which none of them had ever even heard of, just like I hadn’t until I read Dostoevsky in 2004-2005.
So we had a good time, and upon returning home, I eventually Googled John Crowder, found some YouTube videos and was confronted with a (per)version of Christianity in stark contrast to what I was discovering in Church history: a repackaging of quasi-Pentecostalism only possible in North America.
Beyond all this, there really isn’t much to say. Those that buy into it will continue to do so until they open their eyes in search of true Christian mysticism. The non-Christian reader with a skeptical mind and any knowledge of Scripture will clearly see Scripture being twisted yet again. And the Orthodox Christian with knowledge of Scripture, the Church Fathers and who is active in the Mystical life of the Church will undoubtedly see this for what it is: the fruit of the λογίσμοι, and the doctrine of demons.
For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.
-2 Timothy 4:3-4 (Douay-Rheims)