Steve Bannon and the occult: The right wing’s long, strange love affair with New Age mysticism-7/26 Salon, by Mitch Horowitz -- Bannon's back in the news as the subject of a bestselling book. Here's one key to understanding what makes him tick -- When my book “Occult America,” a history of supernatural religions in the U.S., appeared in 2009, I was surprised to receive an admiring phone call from a conservative documentarian and financier. He professed deep interest in the book’s themes, and encouraged me in my next work, “One Simple Idea,” an exploration of positive-mind metaphysics in American life. His name was Stephen K. Bannon. Although the media have characterized Bannon as the Disraeli of the dark side following his rise to power in the Trump administration, I knew him, and still do, as a deeply read and erudite observer of the American religious scene, with a keen appetite for mystical thought. Ronald Reagan, a hero of his, was not dissimilar. As I’ve written in the Washington Post and elsewhere, Reagan, from the start of his political career in the 1950s up through the first term of his presidency, adopted phrasing and ideas from the writings of a Los Angeles-based occult scholar named Manly P. Hall (1901-1990), whose 1928 encyclopedia arcana “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” is among the most influential underground books in American culture. President Trump himself has admiringly recalled his lessons in the mystic art of “positive thinking” from the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, the Trump family’s longtime pastor, who popularized metaphysical mind-power themes in his 1952 mega-seller “The Power of Positive Thinking.” What in the cosmos is going on? New Age and alternative spirituality are supposed to be the domain of patchouli-scented aisles of health food stores and bookshops that sell candles and pendulums, right? Well, not exactly. There is a long-standing intersection between mysticism and conservatism in America. This marriage extends back to the late 19th century when globetrotting occultist and Russian noblewoman Madame H.P. Blavatsky depicted America as the catalyst for a revolution in human potential in her 1888 opus “The Secret Doctrine.” “It is in America that the transformation will take place,” Blavatsky wrote, “and has already silently commenced.” ...
Editor: Lou Gehrig's "I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech is iconic. It is one of the great speeches not just in sports but in history. There's a problem however, we learn from the book 'The Boy Who Knew Too Much," that when the Mayo Clinic called to notify Lou he only had about 3 years to live. They talked to his wife. She never told him nor his parents and convinced the doctors to remain silent. I think his speech might have been different if he had known the truth.
Editor: I clicked on this link last week, bought the book for 12 bucks hardbound w/free Prime shipping. I couldn't put it down. Well written and the progression of learning why 2 year old Christian Haupt or Baseball Konrad as he liked to be called, was Lou Gehrig is masterfull as well as the mom's spirtual growth trying to come to grips with reincarnation. Full disclosure: I was born in NYC and moved to nearby Conn. at age three. I played baseball everday at a local lot. I've been a rabid Yankee fan since the 50's. I used to lie in bed with a small transistor radio with a black leather cover and ear plug listening to Yankee games when I was supposed to be sleeping on a school night. In 7th grade when we were required to write a big paper for the first time in our lives, I did it on the Yankees. Of course, No. 7 was my hereo. Got to see The Mick play several times in Yankee Stadium. I had a '56 or '57 team signed baseball with Mantle and Berra in the sweet spot. Gehrig, Ruth, Dimaggio and Mantle are considered the greatest Yankees ever. Here's a weird coincidence, I know of only one Yankee I ever met. He was Wally Pipp. I met him in Michigan when I was pretty young. I think he was a friend of my great Uncle. Wally Pipp played first base for the Yankees in the early 1900's. He was a good player, hit lots of home runs and helped the Yankees win Championships. One day, as legend has it, he had a headache and asked to sit on the bench. Lou Gehrig took his place. Wally never played for the Yankees again. He went on to play for the Detroit Tigers. That's why he was living in Michigan where he obviously retired. Lou became known as the "Iron Horse" because he played in something like 2,130 consecutive games, until ALS or "Lou Gehrig's Disease" struck at age 36. He died two years later. As someone said in the book, 'to say that this kid eats, sleeps and lives baseball,' is an understatement.' His parents could not get the baseball uniform off him. He exhausted both of them wanting to hit and play catch 24/7. His reaction to Babe Ruth's pictures ('he was a mean man') whom Gehrig had a long feud with, is astonishing. I was worried that this kid might grow up to be a Dodger and not a Yankee. But after reading how much the Dodgers love him, especially Tommy Lasorda and pitcher Clayton Kershaw, I don't mind so much now. Although Adam Sandler believes he will be a Bronx bomber one day. Yankee fans might treasure this book a bit more, but I guarantee you will also like this funny, heartwarming book. It merits sitting on the bookshelf next to Soul Survivor. William House
Okay, so the Great Uncle I mentioned above living in Michigan is John Halloran. He was once on 'What's My Line' in 1959. The babysitter was supposed to wake me up so I could watch it. She didn't try very hard. When I found out the next morning, I wasn't a happy camper. I've never seen this show until now when I got to thinking maybe it's on Youtube. Voila, there it was. He stumped the panel. They couldn't guess that he was the oldest living practicing detective, anyway that's what my parents told me. On the show it just says private detective. He's the second guest. I met Wally Pipp in Grand Rapids where my Uncle lived. I learned on Wikipedia that Wally sold bolts and screws. Grand Rapids was part of his territory. Uncle John past away in 1964 at age 90. Wally the next year at age 71. P.S. The McGuire sisters were the mystery guest. Editor
Does the Afterlife Exist?-4/13 The Inverse, by Tanya Basu -- 'The OA' and 'The Discovery' justify an afterlife with science. The real story is much murkier. -- In the Netflix original movie The Discovery, a researcher, Thomas Harper (Robert Redford), claims to have stumbled upon the titular event in the form of proof of an afterlife. This finding, which is never quite explained, sets off an epidemic of suicide, with people attempting to cross over into the promise of an alternate plane of existence. While the film is underwhelming at best, it surfaces some of humanity’s grandest philosophical questions: What happens when we die? Does death mean the end of existence or simply a continuation in a cycle of existences? And is there any way to prove it? Many scientists, of course, dismiss the afterlife as a superstitious fantasy. Still, there have been few scientists that have investigated this mystical concept; at least one has argued for it. ...
The Modern Movement to Exonerate a Notorious Medieval Serial Killer Gilles de Rais inspired the tale of Bluebeard.-6/6 But was he really a murderer? Atlas Obscura, by Sonya Vatomsky -- If the name Gilles de Rais rings a bell, you probably know him as the man responsible for the deaths of 150 boys in 15th-century France, degenerate deeds that led to his apotheosis as an early serial killer and the inspiration for the legend of Bluebeard. Those with an interest in true crime might be aware of another detail: Rais was a war hero, appointed Marshal of France at age 25, who served alongside Joan of Arc—it’s because of her death, the story goes, that he went mad and turned to heresy, alchemy, and murder. Brought to trial after dozens of children went missing in the Nantes countryside, Gilles de Rais was accused of, in the words of biographer Georges Bataille, “the abominable and execrable sin of sodomy, in various fashions and with unheard-of perversions that cannot presently be expounded upon by reason of their horror, but that will be disclosed in Latin at the appropriate time and place.” Rais confessed and was summarily executed on the October 16, 1440. It’s a captivating tale, informing a wealth of books and websites dedicated to a “throat-slitter of women and children, judged for his crimes and burned in Nantes.” (This from Eugène Bossard, another biographer.)
In 1992, the Breton tourist board commissioned a Gilles de Rais biography from French author Gilbert Proteau. The area around Rais’ castles was a travel destination for those wishing to see the crime scenes of a confessed serial murderer, and the board thought a book would bring in more tourists. Instead, Gilles de Rais ou la Gueule de Loup made the case that Rais was innocent—Prouteau also called for a retrial. A Court of Cassation, the highest court of appeals in France, was conducted and Rais was fully exonerated later that year. This exoneration isn’t a secret: many of Rais’ countrymen know him as the victim of Church conspiracy, falsely accused on account of his great wealth and political connections to Joan of Arc, who herself was tried for heresy and executed 10 years prior. Yet while attempts to clear Rais’ name go back to 1443, the majority of his biographers make little mention of this or of the suspicious circumstances around his trial. Those who have considered the possibility of Rais’ innocence are few and far between—and almost all of them wrote only in French. Add in the pre-Internet Court of Cassation and you’ve got a wealth of information that has remained inaccessible to an English audience. Like a 15th-century Steven Avery, Rais has been waiting for his very own season of Making a Murderer. Now, 600 years after his execution, he may finally be getting it.
Margot K. Juby, a writer living in Cottingham, England, calls herself “Gilles de Rais’ representative on Earth” and is determined to clear his name worldwide. Since 2010, Juby has maintained the website Gilles de Rais Was Innocent, posting links to original documents in English and French and explaining how each myth, from the 150 dead boys to the associations with Bluebeard, began to pass for fact. This year, on the 25th anniversary of the 1992 retrial and Gilles de Rais’ acquittal, she will self-publish what she calls the first accurate biography of Rais in existence—and the only English-language biography to discuss the possibility of his innocence. It’s the product of a lifelong obsession and years of research that started, like many things do, with a book. As a teenager, Juby discovered Gilles de Rais while reading The Devil And All His Works by Dennis Wheatley. One of the pages depicted a man leaning on a battle-axe; the caption read “Gilles de Rais, one of the blackest sorcerers in history.” Juby was intrigued, and over the next few years began hunting down rare and out-of-print books about Rais, many of which were in French. The more she read, the more convinced she became that he had been framed. In 1992, when the retrial made the front page in Kingston-upon-Hull, where Juby lived at the time, she experienced “the greatest adrenaline jolt of [her] life.” ...
Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities-5/3 Aeon, by Ahmed Alkhateeb -- Ahmed Alkhateeb is a molecular cancer biologist at Harvard Medical School. His work focuses on the development of analytical platforms to improve research efficiency in biomedicine.
The duty of man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads and … attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency. – Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040 CE)
Science is in the midst of a data crisis. Last year, there were more than 1.2 million new papers published in the biomedical sciences alone, bringing the total number of peer-reviewed biomedical papers to over 26 million. However, the average scientist reads only about 250 papers a year. Meanwhile, the quality of the scientific literature has been in decline. Some recent studies found that the majority of biomedical papers were irreproducible. The twin challenges of too much quantity and too little quality are rooted in the finite neurological capacity of the human mind. Scientists are deriving hypotheses from a smaller and smaller fraction of our collective knowledge and consequently, more and more, asking the wrong questions, or asking ones that have already been answered. Also, human creativity seems to depend increasingly on the stochasticity of previous experiences – particular life events that allow a researcher to notice something others do not. Although chance has always been a factor in scientific discovery, it is currently playing a much larger role than it should. One promising strategy to overcome the current crisis is to integrate machines and artificial intelligence in the scientific process. Machines have greater memory and higher computational capacity than the human brain. Automation of the scientific process could greatly increase the rate of discovery. It could even begin another scientific revolution. That huge possibility hinges on an equally huge question: can scientific discovery really be automated?
I believe it can, using an approach that we have known about for centuries. The answer to this question can be found in the work of Sir Francis Bacon, the 17th-century English philosopher and a key progenitor of modern science. The first reiterations of the scientific method can be traced back many centuries earlier to Muslim thinkers such as Ibn al-Haytham, who emphasised both empiricism and experimentation. However, it was Bacon who first formalised the scientific method and made it a subject of study. In his book Novum Organum (1620), he proposed a model for discovery that is still known as the Baconian method. He argued against syllogistic logic for scientific synthesis, which he considered to be unreliable. Instead, he proposed an approach in which relevant observations about a specific phenomenon are systematically collected, tabulated and objectively analysed using inductive logic to generate generalisable ideas. In his view, truth could be uncovered only when the mind is free from incomplete (and hence false) axioms. The Baconian method attempted to remove logical bias from the process of observation and conceptualisation, by delineating the steps of scientific synthesis and optimising each one separately. Bacon’s vision was to leverage a community of observers to collect vast amounts of information about nature and tabulate it into a central record accessible to inductive analysis. In Novum Organum, he wrote: ‘Empiricists are like ants; they accumulate and use. Rationalists spin webs like spiders. The best method is that of the bee; it is somewhere in between, taking existing material and using it.’ The Baconian method is rarely used today. It proved too laborious and extravagantly expensive; its technological applications were unclear. However, at the time the formalisation of a scientific method marked a revolutionary advance. Before it, science was metaphysical, accessible only to a few learned men, mostly of noble birth. By rejecting the authority of the ancient Greeks and delineating the steps of discovery, Bacon created a blueprint that would allow anyone, regardless of background, to become a scientist. Bacon’s insights also revealed an important hidden truth: the discovery process is inherently algorithmic. It is the outcome of a finite number of steps that are repeated until a meaningful result is uncovered. Bacon explicitly used the word ‘machine’ in describing his method. His scientific algorithm has three essential components: first, observations have to be collected and integrated into the total corpus of knowledge. Second, the new observations are used to generate new hypotheses. Third, the hypotheses are tested through carefully designed experiments. If science is algorithmic, then it must have the potential for automation. ... There have been several stories in the last couple years of numerous scientists falsifying data this is not just in the realm of climate science either. History is replete with stories of how priests have usurped power in various religions either on purpose or through surrender by the people. It's happened again. The high priests are the scientists and they have usurped power and the truth once again. Editor
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This carving is thought to be either St Michael or St George pointing to what might be the twelve apostles. Judas can be seen as the small figure at the back. The ancient cave was once used by the same religious order that fought in the Crusades and were made famous by the popular Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code
There figures are believed to represent Mary, John and the Holy Family. The cave has cylindrical lower parts topped with bell-shaped upper parts totalling 17 feet (5.2m) across and 25.5 feet (7.8m) high, and lies on the junction of a Roman road in Royston, Hertfordshire
The hidden world of the Knights Templar: Stunning images show mysterious carvings etched into a Hertfordshire cave by warrior monks 800 years ago-4/24 Daily Mail,
• The ancient cave in Royston was used by the same religious order that fought in the Crusades
• Carvings appear to show pictures of four patron saints as well as scenes with John the Baptist
• And an ancient Templar symbol etched into the cave walls reveals two knights riding a horse
• Cave was first discovered by accident in 1742 by workmen who found a shaft down into a dark cavern
By Harry Pettit, Stunning 800-year-old carvings have been found inside a Knights Templar cave under a crossroads in a small English town. The carvings appear to show pictures of four patron saints as well as scenes with John the Baptist and Mary, the mother of Jesus. The ancient cave was once used by the same religious order that fought in the Crusades and were made famous by the popular Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code. In the book, the Templars find and hide the Holy Grail somewhere in the UK. The cave was dug into the chalk bedrock under the Hertfordshire town of Royston, which sits close to the Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire border. The cave has cylindrical lower parts topped with bell-shaped upper parts totalling 17 feet (5.2m) across and 25.5 feet (7.8m) high, and lies on the junction of a Roman road, the Cambridge News reports. One of the carvings shown in the images from photographer Keith Jones shows two figures close together near a damaged section of wall. This was once a Templar symbol that showed two knights riding a horse. The carvings found in the chalk cave also include four saints. The patron saint of travellers St Christopher was found below the original entrance of the cave holding a staff and with the infant Jesus on his shoulder. St Katherine, the patron saint of weavers, can be seen high up on the west edge of the cave while St Lawrence, who was martyred on a gridiron, also has a carving. The fourth saint carving appears to show St Michael or St George, the patron saint of England, wielding a sword which points to the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Other carvings around the cave include Calvary scenes with John the Baptist and with Mary. One shows a group believed to be the Holy Family, though uncertainty surrounds the identities of figures in the remaining carvings. ...
Erdene Zuu-4/14 Atlas Obscura, The oldest Buddhist monastery in Mongolia has survived centuries of invasions, political shifts, and religious purges. -- The establishment of Erdene Zuu dates at least to 1585, and some posit it goes back much further, as far as the 8th century. It is the oldest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. The name translated means “100 Treasures,” a nod to the number of original temples and the chain of stupas (mounded reliquaries) that form the exterior walls of the sacred site. Tangled in its legacy, there are the scars of centuries of fighting across those sacred walls. -- The history of Erdene Zuu is a mix of invasions, religious purges, political shifts, and outright murder. Damaged and dismantled in 1688 during a conflict between Dzungars (a confederation of Mongolian tribes) and Khalkha Mongols (historically ruled by the Khans), what remained of the monastery was reassembled in the 18th century. Again, in 1939, the order suffered a blow at the hands of Khorloogiin Choibalsan, the Communist leader of Mongolia, who ordered the destruction of scores of temples and the slaughter of thousands of monks throughout the country. All that remained of Erdene Zuu were three temples and a small order, with nearly one hundred structures destroyed and an estimated one thousand members either murdered or imprisoned. It was either sheer luck or the twisted wisdom of Stalin that saved the site from total destruction, kept as a token of “religious tolerance” to be put on display for international visitors, including U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace during a trip in the late 1940s. Intervention by the Soviet leader convinced the Mongolian regime to spare the monastery, a move motivated less by goodwill than by political pretense. But tolerance under Stalin and Khorloogiin Choibalsan only went so far, and the monastery was forced to convert into a museum. It remained in this religious limbo until the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviets and reversion of the site to the lamas. It still wears both hats today, and the wall of 108 stupas that surround the compound, clearly visible from a mile away, are in a good state of repair. Inside there are several temples and additional stupas, the oldest dating to 1799. One particular area of historic destruction by the Communists is cordoned off, but its foundations are still visible. There are plans to rebuild, but work has yet to begin. Erdene Zuu, after so many centuries of sheer will to survive, will get that work done. ...
Mysterious "Fairy Circles" Continue to Enchant Scientists-4/13 EOS.org, By Sarah Witman -- Researchers revisit an old theory about the ethereal patterns of vegetation that form in some arid landscapes. -- In just a couple places on Earth, namely, the scrubby deserts of Australia and Namibia, mysterious natural formations known as “fairy circles” dot the dry landscape. Some unknown force or phenomenon causes these bare patches to appear amid the sparse vegetation, arranged in a honeycomb-like configuration. These fairy circles are named for their similarities to mushrooms’ “fairy rings.” Although the name brings to mind mystical sprites, scientists have produced several possible, secular explanations for them. But the truth of how they form remains murky and is a subject of intense debate. Are they caused by small amounts of natural gas seeping into the soil, as proposed by South African scientists in 2011? Or are they perhaps a result of harvester termites’ foraging and nesting habits, as a University of Hamburg researcher posited in 2013? Or as hypothesized by an international team in 2015, is it a quirk of desert environments that vegetation organizes in ring patterns? Ravi et al. revisit the idea that plants self-organize to find water by studying the interactions of water, soil, and vegetation in Namibian fairy circles. The matrix of fairy circles in the Namib Desert, where the study took place, spans more than 1600 kilometers of arid grassland. The team tested and compared three sets of soil samples from the bare interior, highly vegetated edge, and moderately vegetated exterior of each fairy circle. For each sample, they conducted infiltration experiments to observe the rates of moisture soaking into the soil, measured the levels of soil moisture and grass biomass, and analyzed the sizes of individual soil grains. The researchers observed nothing to suggest that termites or any kind of foraging animal had an effect on the formation of the fairy circles in their study sites. But in every instance they found coarser grains of soil inside the circles and finer grains of soil along the vegetated circle edges. ...
DNA Analysis of the Paracas Skulls Proves They Are Not Human-4/14 Frontiers of Anthropology, On the southern coast of Peru lies the desert peninsula of Paracas. This barren landscape is where Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello made an astounding discovery in 1928. His efforts uncovered a massive and complex graveyard buried under the sand and rocks. In these tombs Tello found some of the most controversial human(?) remains in history. The bodies had the largest elongated skulls in the world and have since been called the Paracas skulls. Tello found a total of more than 300 skulls and they have been dated at around 3,000 years old. A recent DNA analysis performed on some of those skulls has presented amazing results that could challenge the current perspective of the human evolutionary tree. ...
The obscure religion that shaped the West-4/13 , BBC By Joobin Bekhrad -- It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and Freddie Mercury have cited it as an inspiration. So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. -- Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the West. At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a Middle Eastern ‘other’. Yet, a brief glance at an ancient religion – still being practised today – suggests that what many take for granted as wholesome Western ideals, beliefs and culture may in fact have Iranian roots. Even the idea of Satan is a fundamentally Zoroastrian one
It is generally believed by scholars that the ancient Iranian prophet Zarathustra (known in Persian as Zartosht and Greek as Zoroaster) lived sometime between 1500 and 1000 BC. Prior to Zarathustra, the ancient Persians worshipped the deities of the old Irano-Aryan religion, a counterpart to the Indo-Aryan religion that would come to be known as Hinduism. Zarathustra, however, condemned this practice, and preached that God alone – Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom – should be worshipped. In doing so, he not only contributed to the great divide between the Iranian and Indian Aryans, but arguably introduced to mankind its first monotheistic faith. The idea of a single god was not the only essentially Zoroastrian tenet to find its way into other major faiths, most notably the ‘big three’: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The concepts of Heaven and Hell, Judgment Day and the final revelation of the world, and angels and demons all originated in the teachings of Zarathustra, as well as the later canon of Zoroastrian literature they inspired. Even the idea of Satan is a fundamentally Zoroastrian one; in fact, the entire faith of Zoroastrianism is predicated on the struggle between God and the forces of goodness and light (represented by the Holy Spirit, Spenta Manyu) and Ahriman, who presides over the forces of darkness and evil. While man has to choose to which side he belongs, the religion teaches that ultimately, God will prevail, and even those condemned to hellfire will enjoy the blessings of Paradise (an Old Persian word). How did Zoroastrian ideas find their way into the Abrahamic faiths and elsewhere? ...
The Zoroastrian Texts Of Ancient Persia, Underground Cities & What They Reveal About Advanced Ancient Civilizations-11/25 Collective Evolution, by Graham Hancock -- Graham Hancock investigates the mysterious religious texts of the Zoroastrians of ancient Persia and the ‘underground cities’ of neighbouring Turkey. Both, he argues, are far older than is presently taught and date back to cataclysmic events near the end of the last Ice Age that destroyed, and all but wiped from human memory, an advanced civilization of prehistory. Below is an excerpt form his work, which you can find HERE. ( A link to his new book, “Magicians of the Gods”)You can also check out our Podcast with him here.
Exactly how old Zoroastrianism is has not yet been satisfactorily established by scholars, since even the lifetime of its prophet Zarathustra (better known as Zoroaster) is uncertain. Indeed, as Columbia University’s authoritative Encyclopedia Iranica admits: ‘Controversy over Zarathustra’s date has been an embarrassment of long standing to Zoroastrian studies.’[i] The Greek historians were amongst the first to address themselves to the matter. Plutarch, for example, tells us that Zoroaster ‘lived 5,000 years before the Trojan War’[ii] (itself a matter of uncertain historicity but generally put at around 1300 BC, thus 5,000 plus 1,300 = 6300 BC). A similar chronology is given by Diogenes Laertius, who relates that Zoroaster lived ‘6,000 years before Xerxes’ Greek campaign’[iii] (i.e. around 6480 BC). More recent scholars have proposed dates as far apart as 1750 BC and ‘258 years before Alexander’[iv] (i.e. around 588 BC). Whatever the truth of the matter, it is agreed that Zoroaster himself borrowed from much earlier traditions and that Zoroastrianism, therefore, like many other religions, has roots that extend very far back into prehistory. In the Zoroastrian scriptures known as the Zend Avesta certain verses in particular are recognized as drawing on these very ancient oral traditions.[v] The verses speak of a primordial father figure called Yima, the first man, the first king, and the founder of civilization, and appear in the opening section of the Zend Avesta, known as the Vendidad. There we read how the god Ahura Mazda created the first land, ‘Airyana Vaejo, by the good river Daitya,’[vi] as a paradise on earth and how ‘the fair Yima, the great shepherd… was the first mortal’ with whom Ahura Mazda chose to converse, instructing him to become a preacher.[vii] Yima refused, at which the god said: Since thou wantest not to be the preacher and the bearer of my law, then make my world thrive, make my world increase; undertake thou to nourish, to rule and to watch over my world.[viii]
To this Yima agreed, at which the god presented him with a golden ring and a poniard – a long, tapered thrusting knife – inlaid with gold. Significantly, for we will see in Chapter Seventeen there are close parallels to this story as far away as the Andes mountains of South America, Yima then: ‘pressed the earth with the golden ring and bored it with the poniard.’[ix] By this act, we learn he ‘made the earth grow larger by one third than it was before,’ a feat that over the course of thousands of years he repeated twice more – in the process eventually doubling the land area available for ‘the flocks and herds with men and dogs and birds,’ who gathered unto him ‘at his will and wish, as many as he wished.’[x] Anatomically modern humans like ourselves have existed, so far as we know, for a little less than two hundred thousand years (the earliest anatomically modern human skeleton acknowledged by science is from Ethiopia and dates to 196,000 years ago).[xi] Within this timespan there has only been one period when those parts of the earth that are useful to humans increased dramatically in size, and that was during the last Ice Age, between 100,000 and 11,600 years ago. Indeed, previously submerged lands totalling 27 million square kilometres – equivalent to the area of Europe and China added together – were exposed by lowered sea-levels at the last glacial maximum 21,000 years ago. While it is probably far-fetched to suppose that it is this very real increase of useful land that is referred to in the Yima story, or that it has anything to do with the golden age that Yima’s benign rule supposedly achieved in Airyana Vaejo,[xii] it is interesting to note what happened next. After another immense span of time, we read, Yima was summoned to ‘a meeting place by the good river Daitya’ where the god Ahura Mazda appeared to him bearing an ominous warning of sudden and catastrophic climate change: O fair Yima, upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall, that shall bring the fierce, foul frost; upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall that shall make snowflakes fall thick, even on the highest tops of mountains… Therefore make thee a Vara [a hypogeum, or underground enclosure] long as a riding ground on every side of the square, and thither bring the seeds of sheep and oxen, of men, of dogs, of birds, and of red blazing fires… Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of men and women of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth; thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth. Thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of tree, of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth; thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the fullest of food and sweetest of odour. All those seeds shalt thou bring, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the Vara. There shall be no humpbacked, none bulged forward there; no impotent, no lunatic… no leprous.[xiii]...
Editor: Hancock chooses to use the modern vernacular term "climate change" which is all well and good but tends to reinforce today's narrative. Science today is not what it's cracked up to be. Let's remember there were no SUV's, factories etc. causing climate change back then. To paraphrase the Church Lady: "Could it be --- KARMA!" Also, we learn below that Yima mentioned above was the founder of a false religion which contained evil practices.
Zarathustra and the Fire of Ahura Mazda-11/25 Written a few years ago for the Worldwide Ashram, by William House and paraphrasing ECP, (Greek: Zoroaster, meaning “golden light” 1500 BC± ) (According to Hancock our dates are way off. Could be.) -- Each era chooses its new, corresponding Teaching, when all previous Teachings have become distorted. People tend to cling to these twisted distortions of the faith of their forefathers, yet no new Teaching ever excludes preceding ones. Little attention is paid to this fact, for the followers of every Teaching like to build their success on denial of the previous Teachings. But it is easy to prove the continuity of what people call religion. In this continuity is sensed a single stream of one energy. Calling it psychic [fiery] energy, we speak of the Sophia of the Hellenic world or Sarasvati of the Hindus. The Holy Ghost of the Christians manifests signs of psychic energy, just as do the creative Adonai of Israel, and Mithra of Persia, full of solar power. Certainly, no one doubts that the Fire of Zoroaster is the Fire of Space, which you now study. Agni Yoga, #416, 1929, Agni Yoga Society (Editor: Reading the above in html as I pasted it in this column and before I got to the source, I'm thinking What!, this is really good, I couldn't have written this. And of course, I didn't. It was Morya.)
Zarathustra was an initiate of the Great White Brotherhood, taught by archangels and Ahura Mazda to bring a teaching of the Sacred Fire and the use of mantrams to the people. Much confusion reigns over the exact dates when Zarathustra lived. Not much is known about him. He probably lived around 1,750 to 1,500 BC., but it’s hard to say for sure. At this time in history, no other land could boast of a prophet or messenger appearing on the scene with such supreme gnosis and direct tie to the Great White Brotherhood in over 8,000 years, since the time of Atlantis. Abram heard a voice. Not even Moses was elevated in such a way, for he was initiated in Egyptian mysteries and when he did see God it was as a burning bush. Zarathustra had a visitation of epic proportions. This was an extraordinary event in the annals of the spiritual history for earth. The following is merely a condensed and adapted version of a lecture by Elizabeth Clare Prophet given on August 30, 1992. The quotes are verbatim from the Pearls of Wisdom Vol. 35, Book II (which we highly recommend) where her entire lecture on Zarathustra can be found, starting on page 454.
“Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed world-religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith.” From Mary Boyce, Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of London.
Zarathustra was “one of the greatest religious geniuses of all time…. [He] was a prophet, or at least conceived himself to be such; he spoke to his God face to face.” R. C. Zaehner, former Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University.
Zarathustra was an initiate of the Great White Brotherhood. According to Boyce, “He… describes himself [in the Gathas] as a ‘vaedemna’ or ‘one who knows,’ an initiate possessed of divinely inspired wisdom.” She continues, “According to tradition Zoroaster was thirty, the time of ripe wisdom, when revelation finally came to him. This great happening is alluded to in one of the Gathas and is tersely described in a Pahlavi [Middle Persian] work. Here it is said that Zoroaster, being at a gathering [called] to celebrate a spring festival, went at dawn to a river to fetch water.” In the middle of the stream he saw one Vohu Manah. It was this Being who led Zoroaster into the presence of Ahura Mazda and five other radiant figures, before whom “he did not see his own shadow upon the earth, owing to their great light”. And it was then, from this great heptad [or group of seven beings], that he received his revelation. Ahura Mazda is another name for Sanat Kumara. There are six other Kumaras; each one has sponsored one of the seven major religions. It’s reasonable to assume that Zoroaster stood before the Seven Holy Kumaras. No wonder he couldn’t see his own shadow. Zarathustra proceeded to revolutionize his country by exposing the lies and false gods behind the current religion. He was definitely a Prophet. He had little success for ten years until finally he was able to impress King Vishtaspa and then convert his Queen. But the King needed proof. In response, Ahura Mazda sent three Archangels to the court of Vishtaspa and Hutaosa. They appeared as effulgent knights in full armour, riding on horseback. According to one text, they arrived in such glory that “their radiance in that lofty residence seemed …a heaven of complete light, owing to their great power and triumph; when he thus looked upon [them], the exalted king Vishtaspa trembled, all his courtiers trembled, all his chieftains were confused.” Radiating a blinding light and the sound of thunder, they announced that they had come on behalf of Ahura Mazda in order that the king might receive the fullness of the message of Zarathustra. They promised Vishtaspa a life span of 150 years and that he and Hutaosa would have an immortal son. The Archangels warned, however, that if Vishtaspa should decide not to take up the religion, his end would not be far away. The king embraced the faith and the entire court followed suit. The scriptures record that the Archangels then took up their abode with Vishtaspa. ...
Fiery World I 17. The substance of fiery immunity was described by Zoroaster. He pointed out that from each pore of the skin people could call forth fiery rays to smite all evil. A man clad in a protective armor cannot succumb to any contagion. One can increase this resistance through unity with Hierarchy. Thus, the heart becomes like a sun reducing all microbes to ashes.