Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Chariots of the Gods?
If you were a child of the 70s, there’s no way you bypassed that period of time without hearing references to "Chariots of the Gods?" book by Erich Von Daniken (published in American in 1970). There was a TV documentary based on it called “In Search of Ancient Astronauts” which was wildly popular at the time.
This is what happens when you follow your passion and aren’t scared to travel the world and seek knowledge. Von Daniken began as a study of ancient holy writings and, although like most of us was forced to work in the “real world,” he continued to study things of interest to an obsessive level. He found a theme in archaeological artwork which created his hypothesis; perhaps the earth was visited by aliens in ancient times.
I have a personal respect for anyone who’s willing to create conjecture that rocks the majority’s world and makes us question just how much knowledge we have accrued and if perhaps we’ve accrued knowledge in the wrong areas for healthy growth.
In his book, he points out how ancient art drawn on cave walls and on desert rock outcroppings have shown amazing images of flying machines and references to beings that appear to be in space protective clothing and helmets. The knowledge of ancients to build pyramids, to postulate the stars and their movement, to build Easter Island’s statues, and to plot out the lines of Nazca of Peru, seemed to indicate influence from an outside source.
Von Daniken also brings into question the knowledge with which the prophet Edgar Cayce was able to do his clairvoyant readings. In Cayce’s readings, he could sit with a patient and detect illnesses in their bodies while he went into a meditative state in which he said his brain could ask their brain about issues, resulting in Cayce being “part of all brains.” This is a talent Von Daniken believed to be originated in other worlds by higher beings. This also expands into the concept of psychic abilities and how we can enter other energy pathways and gather information.
On the point that we can tap into other energy and gain information is one that I completely accept, having been able to do this my entire lifetime. I can’t tell you how, I can’t tell you why, but I do know that it’s possible to jump into a stream of information and sift through it like a radio sifting through radio waves for the right station. It might have been a vital attribute in early pre-language times, I don’t know. I only know it’s an ability we all possess and often use without being conscious of it. It's really all in our priorities and focus as to whether this talent develops or not.
I’m sure you’re probably wondering where I stand on the concept of Earth being seeded by aliens. I grew up in deep fascination with this book and the theories. To me they seemed to be grounded in fact, some kind of new discovery in the science world. Now, of course, I’m older and more logic-minded and skeptical, so when I re-read his book again with a fresh mind, I do find some discrepancies and I have better questions to ask about the correlations.
Von Daniken’s referenced the great flood of the Bible and assumed it was a plan by an alien god to obliterate "bad stock” and begin again with mankind. This is an example of his limited view at the time. Man has since discovered there was absolutely no way such a flood could have existed, even if it involved all the water in the oceans and in the earth combined. So, some of his postulating was with limited knowledge of the time period, giving that particular hypothesis a death sentence. He tied part of his theory to something that wasn't factual but was storytelling and folklore, so that would make perhaps other parts of his theories no longer valid either, given our present-day knowledge.
However, it’s understandable that the images he references (such as the one above) do seem out of place with the time period and the knowledge of the people. However, I am certain that anyone of an ancient time period would have devised a god based on things he was most dependent upon, such as sun, rain, earth, and seasons. Some of the images were surely otherworldly for the fact that a god of the sun or weather might be something we haven’t seen, something unusual or hybridized. It wasn’t until man became less dependent upon growing his own food and stalking his own meat, that a father-figure god came into the collective consciousness when a need for someone with wisdom and knowledge. This sort of almighty judge of character, was a more fitting deity to civilized man.
When I was younger, the correlation between these astronaut-like images and the cave drawings seemed like a direct hit, but now that I’m older and a debunker, I have to admit that the chances of a civilization existing, one with knowledge to travel and visit and influence us, who happens to use similar space suits and possess the same body type seems rather farfetched. The other option here is that man develops a way to time travel and influences his own ancestors. Even that seems unlikely, as I doubt by the time we possess time travel skills we’ll still be zipping ourselves into classic 1960s Apollo jumpsuits. At the time Von Daniken made these theories, they fit the knowledge of his time period.
I will admit that man seemed to have more knowledge than we gave him credit for. I believe that pyramids existing in continents separated by a vast ocean were not a complication for ancient man. I do think it was possible he circumvented the globe, although I’m certain it was a rare and special event, as surely the majority never made it. That ancient man wasn’t designing super computers and radios says something about his priorities. Early man would have had a very hard lot in life and survival would have been what he considered 24/7. When you are helpless to the elements, designing gods to protect and developing a deep spirituality would have been urgent. If man was advanced back then, more than likely it was of a psychic and spiritual nature more than it was a technology rush. Even today, we’re finding some ancient knowledge of leylines and crystal powers might have some actual basis in a geomagnetic intelligence we’ve lost along the way. A sort of personal compass with Mother Earth that ancients used to make important decisions.
Yes, man is an exceptional creature when you consider all the possibilities along the way. That life found a way to exist and evolve and become intelligent beings above the other creatures is so unbelievably rare and that I doubt it could be calculated. Anywhere along the line, we could have developed flat ears and inability to hear, one sex and inability to procreate, hearts that had too few chambers to allow us to move large bodies. If you were to ask me about how we came to be, I’d have to say there is something in nature that is intelligent and that is programmed to survive at all costs. That alone is quite remarkable.
Were we created by aliens? I seriously doubt it.
Were we seeded by a meteor from another planet that contained important amino acids for the beginnings of life? Most surely.
Is there anything we can take away from Von Daniken’s theories? Yes!
Ancient man was leaps and bounds beyond what we ever assumed about him. There is knowledge that has always been out there and depending on where man is in his priorities, we either bury it (such as psychic skills) or we accelerate (such as multitasking).
The biggest question in the world right now, when faced with potential changes in the way we’re used to living is, what will be man’s next big priority? Will he continue to consume and dominate and disregard human connections or will he evolve into something that President Obama has been hinting at, a man who values everything he has, saves, reuses, finds ways to make excess power without pollution, enough to power his neighbor? To use science and natural resources that are renewable?
What will tomorrow’s man carve into his cave paintings if he did so? I would guess it would have images of self-sufficient communities and a newfound love of Earth, sky, and water.
Perhaps man went to one end of the pendulum and is now swinging back to ancient knowledge, earth-based wisdom. We can certainly hope so as his priorities thus far have shown a disregard for the very planet that he must subsist upon. Just like the big 80s look is cropping back up in our fashion world and the free-child earth-based living of the 70s turned into the excess and money-making preoccupation of the 80s, man lives on a pendulum. Some day, perhaps, he will accrue enough foreknowledge to stay centered, but for now it takes great adversity for change to occur.
Man may not be alien-based, but he is spiritually based and that makes him an exceptionally unique creature capable of doing anything he dreams up. When I see the cave drawings with suited creatures and flying objects in the sky, I think of man as having pre-knowledge. A strong use of his spirituality and psychic abilities. He could envision. If you think of it, Gene Roddenberry was one such man, imaging transporters and fazers. Occasionally we get great visionaries such as Da Vinci who draw up helicopters long before man has taken flight. That's pre-knowledge. And, I think that's what Von Daniken was tracking.
at 10:41 AM