The Magicians of the Gods

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.

[From: http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2015/11/10]

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.

George: Ok.

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…

George: Right

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…

George: Hahaha.

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  

The Elemental Spirits of the Universe: St. Paul, Cosmology, and David Bentley Hart

It is often said that everytime you read Scripture you see something you didn’t see before. I have found this to be true, and for me, it would appear that this is even more true each time I hear Scripture during the Liturgy.

I recall the first time I consciously heard “. . . we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe” (Αἰκατερίνης Μεγαλομάρτυρος, 25 Νοεμβρίου, Γαλ. 3,23-4,5). I was like, what? as I looked around and no one seemed startled at the words. I still look around now. As far as I know all Greek Orthodox parishes in North America, unfortunately, use the RSV when reading the New Testament in English so the translation will differ; however, the Greek text(s) at that point all agree: “ὑπὸ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου ἦμεν δεδουλωμένοι.”

For those of you able to attend Liturgy on secular New Year’s day as I was would have heard similarly, “. . . according to the elemental spirits of the universe” (Περιτομὴ τοῦ Κυρίου, Βασιλείου τοῦ Μεγάλου, 1 Ἰανουαρίου, Κολ. β′ 8-12). Again, the translations differ, but the Greek text(s) agree: “κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου.”

Biblical cosmology (especially the cosmology of Second Temple Judaism) I have come to find fascinating. With all the interest these days in secular society with Flat Earth Theory and in the Church with the τελώνια, a proper understanding of cosmology makes all the difference. The problem arises though when those who suffer from what Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor has termed disenchantment apply their disenchanted post-Enlightenment cosmology upon the past, completely unaware that one of the worldviews of the past was hierarchical. (This also would have saved the Mormon ψευδοπροφήτης Joseph Smith and the LDS et al. a lot of embarrassment vis-à-vis third heaven/seven heavens, q.v.). This one needs to keep in mind when approaching the issue of the τελώνια.

My point in writing about all this is because of an article that came my way this morning before Ὄρθρος by the brilliant Eastern Orthodox philosopher, scholar of religion, writer, and cultural commentator David Bentley Hart, Everything you know about the Gospel of Paul is likely wrong. It deals with a cosmological worldview lost by most (as I vaguely hinted at above, i.e., translation differences and the τελώνια) and is well worth reading.