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Unfinished

T HE ィ B OOK O F J OHN Confessions of a former Christian fundamentalist

By

Antares Adapted From An Original Manuscript By

John Chin


Fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim. - George Santayana

Establishment history is largely based on recorded propaganda. - Laurence Gardner

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. - James Joyce

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AN EXPLANATION OF SORTS THE UNFINISHED

BOOK OF JOHN began with an email from a total stranger named John Chin – a former Malaysian (and Christian fundamentalist) residing in Sydney. He was given my contact by a mutual friend who had lent him a copy of my book (ADOI!, published 1989 by Times Books International). John explained that he had written and self-published his first book, Confessions of a Christian Fundamentalist – but it hadn’t been well received by his friends and family. He admitted that he was really keen to get published, even if it meant publishing his own work. John said he was coming to Malaysia in a few weeks and would like very much to meet me. He wanted my postal address so he could send me a copy of Confessions. When John Chin showed up at my doorstep a few weeks later I had already skimmed through his book. While his writing lacked finesse, I found the subject matter intriguing enough. Religious fundamentalism is among the most divisive problems confronting humanity. John had written a personal account of his own journey from belief to unbelief. He had evolved from an unquestioning acceptance of the basic tenets of his faith to a more open-minded quest for metaphysical and spiritual knowledge. I had myself spent decades deconstructing belief systems by researching the roots of religious indoctrination and had come to certain inevitable conclusions of my own. Essentially, John felt he had been ripped off by a professional editor in Australia whom he had paid handsomely to polish up his syntax and he believed I could do a far better job. He named me a figure and it took me only a few minutes to accept his offer (I was pretty broke at the time). Within hours he had banked a cash advance into my account, assuring me that further payments would be prompt and that if the book sold well he would throw in a royalty on top of that. When I began working in earnest on John Chin’s manuscript, it quickly dawned on me that this wasn’t going to be a straightforward editing project. A large proportion of the material was merely a summary of several historical treatises on the early Church – it was ponderous reading and, quite frankly, banal. I wrote to John, proposing a complete overhaul of his book rather than a cosmetic edit. He wanted to see a few chapters, so I worked on the opening and closing chapters of the book and emailed those to him. The response was immediate and enthusiastic. John gave me the green light to do whatever I saw fit with his manuscript. “Don’t worry about a deadline,” John generously quipped, “I know genius can’t be hurried!” I took him at his word and the project dragged on for more than a year, mainly because of various distractions (like the acquisition of a digital videocamera, editing software, and a new laptop). Finally, almost two years after John Chin’s first visit, I had nine chapters done. The book was now entirely different from the original manuscript, apart from a few bits of biographical information. Indeed, it was much more me than him – and I suggested he send me a little more material on his personal evolution as a spiritual pilgrim Down Under, so I could include more of the John Chin element in the final mix. Months passed and I didn’t hear from John. Finally he wrote me a gloomy email cataloguing his recent trials and tribulations. His family had thrown him out; and soon after that he had been diagnosed with a heart condition which required bypass

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surgery. He was slowly recuperating but could no longer work as intensely as he used to, which meant his income was greatly reduced. After paying his medical bills and child support, John Chin no longer felt he could afford to play capitalist publisher – not even for his own books. It was sad to see John in this sorry state. He had been a perfect gentleman in his dealings with me but I could understand why his wife and kids found him such a difficult housemate. I asked John if he would like to me to find a publisher for the revamped manuscript and he pessimistically said, “Go ahead and try but I doubt anyone will want to publish it.” After sending the manuscript to a couple of local publishers and getting no response, I began to feel that John may have been correct about the unpublishability of our collaborative effort. Meanwhile, an earlier manuscript of mine (Tanah Tujuh: Close Encounters with the Temuan Mythos) had just been published by Silverfish Books and I was getting invitations to read at literary gatherings. At one of these I read a chapter from The Unfinished Book of John and was happy to see it so warmly received. People approached me afterwards and asked when the book would be out. If only readers and publishers shared the same taste in books! Antares Magick River, 21 June 2008

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C ONTENT S A N E XP L AN ATIO N O F S ORT S .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 3 D EDIC ATI ON ...................................................................... 6 P R EF ACE ............................................................................ 7 I NTR OD UCTIO N ................................................................... 9 CH APT ER ON E: T H E G REAT V OI D ......................................... 11 CH APT ER TW O: A S J E H OV AH I S M Y W I TN ESS ....................... 15 CH APT ER TH R EE: A B I T O F A L TERN ATI VE H IS TO RY ............... 18 CH APT ER FO UR: T RA DI TI O N AL V I RTU ES ............................... 22 CH APT ER FI VE: C REA TI O NIS M R EVISI TED ............................ 25 CH APT ER SIX : E X PL O RIN G I N N ER S PA C E ............................. 31 CH APT ER SEVEN: M EA NW HIL E B A CK I N O U TER S PAC E .......... 34 CH APT ER EI G HT: F RO M R O M E T O A M ERIC A .......................... 40 CH APT ER NI N E: R ELIGI O N , S PI RI TU ALI TY , A N D T RU TH ........ 44

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D EDICATION To all lovers of truth and promoters of peace. And to my father and mother who gave me life. Also, my long-suffering wife and children who put up with me. Thank you and God bless. John Chin

To every courageous soul who has suffered persecution and even death for refusing to subscribe to untruths. And to Benoit Mandelbrot, the brilliant mathematician who introduced us to fractal theory, thereby showing us a much more meaningful way to access a sense of the sacred. Antares

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P REFACE My

first confession is that I’m not really a writer. I am, in fact, a successful chartered accountant and business analyst specializing in Information Technology. I have an entirely efficient and methodical mind and consider myself a pragmatist, with both feet firmly planted on solid, empirical ground. It just so happens that I have an obsession with getting to the bottom of things, with finding out the truth – no matter how painful the process, and regardless of the cost to my reputation. When, at 28, I began my journey of self-questioning and exploration, soon after arriving in Australia as a migrant from Malaysia, I didn’t expect to find myself running afoul of my family’s religious fundamentalism. Indeed, I believed they would accept – if not applaud – my intellectual curiosity and desire to reassess and upgrade my own beliefs. And when I completed the first version of this book and had it published at my own expense, I thought my friends and family would be proud of me, at least for being such an ardent amateur scholar and spiritual seeker. Instead, they were shocked and upset by my loss of faith in the fundamentalist dogma to which they continued to cling. They began to pray for my soul, convinced that I had become a prime candidate for eternal perdition. God knows what they’ll be thinking when they realize that instead of feeling repentant and returning like a good sheep to the fundamentalist fold, I’ve decided to revise, revamp, and re-issue this book for a wider audience – on an even more controversial tack! Here I’d like to acknowledge the enormous editorial and literary contribution of my sagacious friend, Antares, whom I met on a trip back to Malaysia a couple of years ago; and who valiantly agreed to help rectify the weaknesses of the earlier edition and “sex” up the writing - but ended up doing “a complete overhaul.” As I said, I’m not really a writer – well, not yet - but I’d very much like to develop my own writing skills to the point where I can confidently produce meaningful and readable prose. In any case, I’m now a bona fide publisher with several other titles in the pipeline. This book is not intended as an academic dissertation. It is the story of my own journey from belief to unbelief – and my quest for a paradigm of reality that includes, rather than excludes. A great deal of personal data is interwoven with the transpersonal discussion of religious dogma and alternative spirituality. Thanks to Antares’s encyclopedic input, I have accessed a great deal more fascinating and valuable data in the brief course of our collaboration than in several decades of personal research prior to our fortuitous meeting. So have I jumped out of the Christian fundamentalist frying pan into the fire of newfangled “New Age” notions? Does meditation open one up to demonic possession? Is the practice of yoga the Hindus’ revenge on the western world? Are tai-chi and chi-qong subtle manifestations of the Yellow Peril? If the universe is holographic, how REAL are our lives? In school I was a head prefect. At work I wasted no time getting to the top of the corporate food-chain, earning big bucks as a business software consultant. I’ve always been serious-minded and sober about attaining my goals – which, for a long time, were not so much my own as parents’ – and their parents’ parents. Persistence, in short, is no stranger to me. But I’m setting my own goals now. I intend to get to the bottom of why we believe the things we do – and how we can

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free ourselves of limited and limiting beliefs and behaviors. I warmly welcome you on this journey. Your presence greatly honors me. John Chin Sydney, April 2006

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I NTRODUCTION I

was born and raised a strict Christian fundamentalist in Malaysia. It took sustained effort, along with mental anguish, to examine the basis of my childhood faith. The original purpose of my quest, undertaken soon after I arrived in Australia in 1981 as a migrant, was to seek corroboration of my fundamentalist beliefs. In the course of my research I stumbled upon many inconsistencies in the edifice of Judaeo-Christian tradition. At first I found it hard to believe that religious doctrines held as fact by Western society for more than a thousand years could be founded on such tenuous and dubious ground. Not only that, the deeper I delved the more obvious it became that there had been a systematic campaign of disinformation and distortion carried out over the centuries by generations of ecclesiastics and scribes entrusted with the spiritual well-being of the illiterate and unquestioning masses. But why? What – or whose – purpose would it serve to conceal or mislead the public on such essential issues? Is it possible that it all boiled down to a perverse desire to have power over others? Was religion – especially fundamentalism - just another virulent variety of energy vampirism? Was there even a kernel of truth to be found within the world’s “holy” scriptures? I began to read widely and compare. First I explored scientific materialism and found it desperately lacking in soul, though it’s certainly useful to be acquainted with what has become, especially in the last couple of centuries, the dominant paradigm of any industrial society. Then I investigated other philosophical and spiritual traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, Taoism, and the so-called New Age teachings. I was fascinated by the convergence of science and spirituality I discovered in the writings of cutting-edge thinkers like Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point) and Gary Zukav (The Dancing Wu-Li Masters, The Seat of the Soul). I soon overcame my unbeliever’s guilt and began to thoroughly relish my wide-ranging search for meaning and significance in the contemporary world. There’s a charming Malay idiom we were taught in school – katak di bawah tempurung – which means, insular, like a frog under a coconut shell. As I shed my layers of Christian fundamentalist programming and threw myself wholeheartedly into my vision quest, I felt just like that frog, emerging from under its coconut shell and seeing the light of day for the very first time. The glorious feeling of liberation inspired me to document my journey of self-discovery, as an encouragement to others who may be ready to outgrow the constrictions of fundamentalist dogma, and also as a sort of legacy to my children’s children - who will, I hope, appreciate the fact that their grandfather wasn’t just a boring old accountant, but was indeed an intellectual and spiritual voyager, as well as an aspiring writer and publisher! Throughout history, religious hierarchies have wielded enormous power and influence, and they still do. Religion continues to be regarded as a taboo subject for everyday conversation. If knowledge is power and ignorance bliss, it’s only to be expected that the power elites would want to maintain their monopoly on knowledge while keeping the general public ignorant. Very early in the game, a pact was made between the Bishop of Rome and Emperor Constantine: the Church would bless Constantine’s secular authority while the emperor recruited converts for the Church

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at swordpoint. Since then it has been the policy of secular authorities never to interfere with or upset the religious establishment. As a result of this artificial schism between the secular and the spiritual realms, it has become possible for a thug to attend religious services one particular day of the week – and then carry on being a thug the rest of the time. And when this Great Divide was applied to Science and Religion, it further reinforced the split between our left and right brains, between Matter and Spirit - and between our inner and outer selves. It seems to me that we have been building more walls than bridges. Walls are a symbol of separation and isolation, bridges connect. I believe it’s imperative that we redirect our energies towards building more bridges and dismantling more walls. After all, if it’s privacy one needs, a graceful bamboo blind or elegant Japanese screen will do the trick nicely. High walls topped with broken glass and barbed wire do not a happy reality make – and God (or Goddess) knows there’s already more than enough unhappiness in our world. Militant fundamentalists and violence-prone fanatics are an obstacle to a peaceful and harmonious world. This is the “Mr Hyde” side of religious indoctrination – whether Zionist, Christian, Muslim, or Hindu (Buddhists seem more inclined to do violence to themselves - through self-immolation, for instance – than to others!). I was well and truly indoctrinated as a child and it took me a long time to even accept the possibility that my earlier views may have been limited or erroneous. I haven’t gone out of my way to create controversy, but the subject matter of this book is contentious by definition. There are no absolute answers to the issues discussed herein. During my learning process - which included lively debates with friends, colleagues and relatives - I was often told to ascertain the source of my information. I was also advised not to accept everything I read as the truth. This is always sensible advice and I suggest the reader approach this book with the same discernment and detachment. At the same time an open mind - and an open heart - are prerequisites to receiving new inputs, leading to a new understanding. The fact that you’re holding these “confessions” of an erstwhile hardcore Christian fundamentalist in your hands is proof enough that it’s never too late for anyone to change their mind about anything. And therein lies humanity’s only hope for a future full of beauty, joy, and love - not to mention truth.

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CHAPTER ONE

T HE G RE AT V OID Nothing

much happened to me on May 12, 2003. I just reached the bottom of the barrel, the nadir of my entire existence. What triggered this sense of absolute futility was something quite banal and trivial: I had spent the better part of the morning looking at used cars so I could present my son with one. Finally I found a reasonably priced 1986 Volvo sedan in respectable condition, and test drove it to my satisfaction – only to be informed when I got home that my son had decided to borrow his mother’s car on days when he needed to drive. Instead of feeling pleased at not having to spend money on another vehicle, I felt oddly deflated... empty. I felt my life had been a complete and utter waste of time, a total write-off. Does everybody feel this way when they turn fifty? Was I experiencing the much-touted mid-life crisis? Male menopause? Was it some deadly species of post-millennial ennui... or was I catching a glimpse of The Great Void that confronts agnostics and atheists at the end of the line? On the surface everything appeared hunky-dory. I was married to an honest, infinitely patient woman who had borne me two wonderful kids, a girl and a boy. My job was challenging and well-paid. I had just been released from two weeks’ quarantine, upon returning to Sydney from Singapore, where the SARS scare was in full flap. Remember SARS? What a terribly tautological name for a disease: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Not just severe but acute... Anyway, I hadn’t died of SARS – even though at church I had conversed for twenty minutes at close quarters and shaken hands with Reverend Chua before the service, and he might well have visited Reverend Mok in hospital before the latter succumbed to SARS a couple of days later. Waiting out the two weeks, quarantined in my Sydney apartment, not allowed to see my family, I had plenty of time to think morbid thoughts. I’ve had breathing problems since my late teens, so it wasn’t too difficult to imagine myself a goner each time I became aware of my lungs. I could picture my family sorting out my papers and belongings after the funeral: filing cabinets stuffed with manila folders full of bills and receipts, and reams of notes written in a neat hand on ruled paper, from years of quiet research on the nature of faith. Was that the only legacy I would leave? That of a meticulous chartered accountant and ardent amateur scholar? Another dutiful but obscure life bites the dust... I decided to write my memoirs. But I’ve led a rather uneventful and sedentary life. Never survived a shark attack or rescued a baby from a burning shophouse. Not even runner-up in an international golf tournament. No string of Casanova conquests to confess. But I did have a grave confession to make: I had lost my faith in the religion of my birth, an evangelical variant of Anglicanism. Indeed, I had arrived at the conclusion that fundamentalist strains of religion are the primary obstacle to our attaining global peace and harmony. My lonesome journey from believer to unbeliever was a story worth chronicling for posterity, I thought. But where does one begin? Maybe a brief outline of my family

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history would help define the cultural matrix into which I was born, and from which I emerged. Seems, at any rate, a sensible place to start.

My paternal great-grandfather, from whom we inherited the surname Chin, migrated from South China to Singapore in 1863, four years before it became a British Crown Colony. When the Malay States accepted British rule, he moved to the new capital, Kuala Lumpur. My grandfather was sent to English-medium schools run by Anglicans because his father couldn’t afford to pay the fees at the private Chinese-medium schools. As a result, grandfather converted early to Christianity and became an active evangelist, visiting a leprosarium once a week to rescue souls from disintegrating bodies. Most of his eight children consider themselves Christian, even if a few seem to have fallen by the wayside. My father was the middle son in a family of three sons and five daughters. Both my parents are staunch Christian fundamentalists, though mother only converted after she married my father. So you can imagine the religious climate in which I was brought up, especially since my parents took their evangelism very seriously. Now, there are many positive aspects of being grounded in a well-established belief system. For one thing, there’s much to be said about the sense of well-being that comes with toeing the line and feeling that Somebody Up There loves you and knows you to be a good sheep, a true believer. The very real sense of fellowship and belonging is perhaps the greatest appeal of being a member of any religious group, fundamentalist or otherwise. The acceptance of God as final arbiter in all our decisions, our protector and provider, leads to an absence of extreme stress in our everyday existence. The highway to fundamentalist heaven is well-paved and wellmarked with clear and legible signs: Straight Ahead. Temporary Detour. No Entry. No U-Turn. No Speeding. No Parking. Toll Ahead. Next Exit 500 Meters. All the answers to life’s questions are readily found in the Holy Scriptures. I can probably still quote you chapter and verse on any specific subject. And, certainly, I appreciate the deeply ingrained sense of moderation and modesty that came with my fundamentalist indoctrination; and the moral sensibility, in effect, basic human decency, that continues to govern my interactions with others. In my late teens, while I was fervently evangelizing in the public domain, the Holy Bible was the primary tool of my trade. It was God’s Word to any person who would listen. My statements would typically begin with: “It is written in the Holy Scriptures that...” There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Christian Bible was inerrant and indisputably true. There was a passage in the Bible specifying that one would be subjected to God’s curses if anything was added, deleted or altered in any way. Another passage said God directly inspired the Scriptures. And since God is perfect, the logical conclusion was that the Bible must be perfectly applicable to all peoples, times, and circumstances. From the perspective of Christian fundamentalism, understanding and tolerance of other cultures is extremely difficult, if at all possible. We were taught that only Christians would be granted salvation and eternal life. All others would suffer the everlasting fires of damnation in Hell. We believed that our neighbours, being pagans and heathens, were already doomed to this dreadful fate. In a Christian fundamentalist environment, young people are warned against reading “unauthorized” books. Any book that contradicts the teachings of the Christian Bible

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is proscribed. The banned book list would include even scientific literature – indeed, anything that touches on topics like the theory of evolution, genetics, archeology and paleontology. These types of books are assumed to be a major part of the Devil’s strategy to lure stray sheep into his lair. In my youth I came upon hardly anything by way of reading material - and very few people - who might have guided me away from these fundamentalist attitudes of intolerance, judgmentalism, self-righteousness - and the misunderstanding and, therefore, rejection of other cultures and beliefs. Each religious group is, of necessity, committed to its own dogma and prescribed lifestyle. It’s perhaps understandable that parents would want to protect their young from the “contamination” of unfamiliar cultures, practices, and beliefs. But Christian fundamentalists, I can attest, are protective of their children’s “programming” to a reactionary extreme. How I acquired an insatiable appetite for an ever increasing range of knowledge may be traced to an acutely embarrassing experience I had shortly after completing high school. I responded to an ad to become a commercial pilot by joining an airline as a rookie, earning a token allowance while getting the necessary flight training. At the interview I was asked to explain how aeroplanes stay airborne. I was stumped. What folly came out of my mouth to cover up my complete ignorance is best forgotten. The interview fiasco was acutely mortifying to my adolescent ego. I slunk out of the room dejected - but determined to never again be caught with my pants down in the “general knowledge” department. I became a voracious reader and tireless questioner. I wanted to find out everything about EVERYTHING. And to do that, I had to break a few taboos, especially about the sort of books I was going to stick my inquisitive nose into.

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was only five years old in August, 1957, when the British granted Malaya her independence. Six years later, Malaya merged with Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah (formerly British North Borneo) to form the Federation of Malaysia. However, this arrangement lasted but two years before the usual politics of race and religion led to Singapore pulling out and becoming an independent island republic. Father, being a Christian and an Anglophile, sent all his five sons to English-language schools in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, known as KL to the locals. While we speak Hakka (a Chinese dialect) at home and Cantonese within the KL region, my brothers and I are only literate in English. Despite my lifelong exposure to spoken Chinese, I opted for fluency in English and familiarity with the culture of the Englishspeaking world – just as much of Europe during the days of the Roman Empire adopted Latin as the language of the ruling elite, and the Roman worldview as their own. My family is part of a relatively small English-educated community compared to the Chinese- and Malay-speaking groups in Malaysia. There’s also a vociferous minority that speak Tamil (a southern Indian language). Kuala Lumpur boasts two of the nation’s most prominent English-medium schools: the protestant Victoria Institution and St. John’s Catholic Boys’ School. My father attended the Victoria Institution. My mother once remarked that my father couldn’t even write his own name in Chinese. He was utterly and thoroughly westernized in language and outlook. In fact, he was what some folks would call a cultural banana: yellow on the outside, white inside. In

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short, my father – like his father before him – was a fully colonized entity by choice; and, for better or worse, this was the hybridized cultural legacy I had inherited.

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CHAPTER TWO

A S J EHOVAH I S M Y W IT NESS People

migrate in search of a better life. Our life had been pretty good in Malaysia. However, a decade after the New Economic Policy was introduced in the wake of the May 1969 riots, with special privileges for the Malays constitutionally entrenched, it was clear that, as English-educated non-Malays, my family had effectively become second-class citizens. Malaysia had ceased being a British colony in 1957. Yet there were many - like myself - who felt a rose-tinted nostalgia for the days when we were part of the mighty British Empire, where the sun never used to set. And so in 1981 we migrated to Australia, from one former British colony to another. Migrants are the most dynamic people in any community. It takes stupendous effort to uproot oneself from an established environment and relocate to a new country and culture. Everything is new. The people, the flora and fauna, even the air smells different. My wife still insists, for instance, that pork bought from a Caucasian butcher smells and tastes different from pork sold by the Chinese butchers back in Malaysia. I couldn’t tell the difference. To me food is food, but it’s a very important ingredient in our lives. Most of us spend up to thirty percent of our lives buying, preparing, and consuming the food we need for our nourishment. Having access to familiar food goes a long way towards making a migrant feel at home in a new location. Migrants bring culinary and cultural diversity to their host country. Without us, the food Down Under would be deathly dull. A few months after we settled into our new home in Melbourne, we had a couple of unexpected visitors. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I showed them a bit of Malaysian hospitality by offering them tea and - over the next five years – they returned every Wednesday to discuss the scriptures with me. These weekly Bible study sessions would last on the average an hour and a half. We had ample time to explore the finer points of our doctrinal differences. I discovered that my Jehovah’s Witness friends had an entirely different take on the Gospels. Christians regard Jesus Christ as their personal savior and God. The traditional Christian Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a doctrine they accept without question. I was stunned to discover that Jehovah’s Witnesses have no use for the Trinity. They regard Jehovah (known as Yahweh to the Jews) as the Heavenly Father, the only God we should worship. Jesus is the Son of God – the Logos (or Word) made flesh - and the Universe was created through him, but he isn’t one and the same as God. My Jehovah’s Witness friends were patient and persevering with me. They plied me with supplementary reading material explaining their specific version of Christianity, and our weekly discussions stimulated my desire to learn as much as I possibly could about the origins of my own faith. Mainstream Christians view Jehovah’s Witnesses as a dangerous cult. Various well-meaning friends had warned me that Jehovah’s Witnesses brainwash their members, so they turn into mindless zombies serving their organization’s goals and purposes. Jehovah’s Witnesses constitute only a tiny fraction of the world’s total Christian population. From my personal contact with them, despite their rigid dogmatism, I found the Jehovah’s Witnesses pretty harmless. Perhaps my logical accountant’s brain grounded me in common sense and reason, and kept me from getting overly swayed by their indoctrination; or maybe it was my increasingly eclectic approach to truth.

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I proceeded to investigate the Baha'i faith, the Church of Christ, Christian Science, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, even the Church of Scientology – indeed, almost every permutation of Judaeo-Christianity I could find. My intellectual curiosity prompted me to look into Islam in an attempt to understand the basis of the centuries-old conflict between the Christian and Muslim worlds. Since Christianity and Islam both have ideological roots in Judaism and all three scriptures have a common origin in the Middle East, I was convinced that some crucial key could be found that would reconcile and harmonize these Abrahamic belief systems. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are linked by a pronounced patriarchal bias that perceives the Supreme Being as a MALE authority figure. All three are essentially Book Religions in that they are founded on laws purportedly promulgated by God through the written word - Torah and Talmud, Old and New Testaments, Quran and Hadith. Nevertheless, throughout that period, I continued to cling stoically to a Christian fundamentalist mindset. In December 1983, on a group tour with a number of Australians to communist China, we were taken to an excavation site just outside Peking (now Beijing). The tour guide told us the original inhabitants lived in a walled city and they buried their dead in shallow graves. She mentioned that the skeletal remains, which had Asian features, were at least 5,000 years old. I had serious problems with that. Since the biblical first couple, Adam and Eve, were created only about 6,000 years ago (according to the fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis), the dating of the Chinese excavation site was obviously incorrect. Beijing is more than 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) from the Middle East where Adam and Eve lived. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, for early humans to migrate that far in a mere thousand years, even if they had somehow managed to travel in a straight line. Besides, I reasoned, it would have taken considerable time for a Semitic tribe to mutate into Asiatics in a mere millennium. I concluded that the excavation site was most likely no more than two or three thousand years old.

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September 1986, I relocated to Sydney with my wife and our two children, and was put in touch with a local chapter of Jehovah’s Witnesses whose members continued my slow and steady induction into their sect. By then I had begun reading in earnest, beyond the confines of religion, any book that might clue me in on the mysteries of existence. I delved into physics, cosmology, astronomy, biology, archeology, paleontology; boned up on evolution and genetics. The possibility that humanoid races may have existed on this planet a great deal longer than six thousand years began to force its way into my consideration. I devoured Stephen Hawking, Paul Davies, Fritjof Capra, Richard Dawkins, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, Kahlil Gibran. I dug into the early history of the Church and discovered more than a few ill-concealed skeletons in its closet. The spectrum of possible perspectives was absolutely fascinating to me. I appreciated the empirical approach of scientific enquiry, and at the same time was greatly intrigued and excited by accounts of the mystical. It’s a wonder I was able to maintain some sort of balance between open-minded curiosity and my deeplyembedded faith in Christianity and the Bible. All this while my study sessions continued with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In fact, all in all my contact with them lasted ten years - until 1991 – when they decided I was ready to be baptized as a bona fide Jehovah’s Witness. I told them I had already been baptized in Malaysia at the age of fifteen. They said I must accept a new baptism into their faith. First I had to agree to certain obligations and answer a few questions:

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“Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?” they asked. “Yes,” I replied. “Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God?” “Yes.” “Do you believe that the Bible is true literally for all eternity?” “No,” I replied emphatically. “What do you mean – no?” one of them asked. “The Christian Bible may be the Word of God but it was formalized more than 1,600 years ago. It can’t be relevant to modern life in all aspects. Science has progressed and we can’t expect human knowledge to stand still,” I explained in a reasonable tone of voice. “Give us an example of what you mean,” said a very concerned looking Jehovah’s Witness. “Well, take for example the creation story in the Book of Genesis. It was just symbolic. It was based on the knowledge of the day when the Book of Genesis was first compiled over 2,500 years ago. It’s pretty impressive as a metaphor: the sequence of creation events recorded in the Bible comes remarkably close to recent scientific findings and doesn’t really contradict evolutionary theory. Modern science places the formation of our solar system at just over 4,500 million years ago. Life apparently started about 3,700 million years ago and gradually evolved into the amazing varieties of lifeforms we see today. Geneticists have proved that all life on Earth is related through our DNA and our genes. But we still don’t know exactly how life came about yet. Life evolved over time, it took millions and millions of years.” I replied, feeling like a latter-day Giordano Bruno before the Inquisition. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were shocked to hear such heresy from my lips. They must have been wondering how I had managed to conceal my blasphemous thoughts from them for so many years. Finally, after an uncomfortable silence, one of the Witnesses declared: “Since you do not accept the literal creation sequence in the Bible, we cannot accept you as a member of our organization. If you happen to change your mind in the future, let us know.” He uttered a sharp “goodbye” and they all walked briskly out of the house. It was a sad moment for me to see them go. After all, the Jehovah’s Witnesses had been among the first friends I had made in the new country, and they had shown exemplary patience and kindness with me. Without their encouragement and moral support – for which I shall always be grateful - I would not have embarked so enthusiastically on a deep scrutiny of the Bible and, subsequently, more secular and speculative works. As it so happened, I had arrived at my own unexpected conclusions, based on startling revelations gleaned from new data.

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CHAPTER THREE

A B IT O F A LTERNATIVE H IST ORY “Establishment

history is largely based on recorded propaganda,” wrote the celebrated constitutional historian and genealogist, Sir Laurence Gardner. This certainly applies when one considers the complex cross-currents that have influenced the rise and growth of the Church. Around 597 BCE, the Kingdom of Judah fell to Nebuchadnezzer II of Babylon who captured and destroyed Jerusalem, and deported the Hebrews to Babylon, where they remained in captivity for nearly fifty years. What we now know as the Old Testament was first written down by Hebrew scribes during their protracted sojourn in Babylon. This would account for the strong influence of Mesopotamian lore in Hebraic culture. Indeed, the Book of Genesis in its entirety is merely a brief summary of the Sumerian creation story recorded thousands of years earlier on cuneiform clay tablets. A modern translation and interpretation of these longneglected Mesopotamian artefacts by Zecharia Sitchin, the controversial Russian Jewish historian, has been published in seven volumes as The Earth Chronicles. Sitchin sheds an astonishingly heterodox light on all creation stories by introducing the taboo topic of extraterrestrial intervention – but we shall take a closer look at this hairy issue a little later. The Hebrews had for generations been a colonized people. Around 300 BCE Palestine had become part of the Alexandrian Empire. Then, in 63 BCE, the Roman general Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) marched into Judaea and seized Jerusalem, and Palestine became an annex of Rome. Hebrew resentment of Roman rule existed long before Jesus arrived on the scene. By the time he was born the priestly Pharisees and the mercantile Sadducees had comfortably adjusted to the political status quo, and were not in favor of rocking the boat of business-as-usual. Outside of the New Testament there are hardly any records extant of the man called “Jesus of Nazareth.” Scholarly research has unearthed the fact that the town called Nazareth may not have even existed during the lifetime of Jesus. However, there was a Nazarite sect to which Jesus probably belonged, and early followers of his teachings were sometimes known as Nazarenes. Translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls (found in 1947 near Qumrān and dated between 200 BCE and 68 CE) reveal that a Master referred to in the documents as “the Teacher of Righteousness” was a high initiate of the Essene brotherhood. Apocryphal scriptures locked from view in the Vatican Library may shed an entirely different light on the Palestinian passion play staged more than 2,000 years ago. The Gnostic gospels of Thomas and Mary, for instance, were deliberately excluded from the New Testament – even though they were allegedly written by two individuals dearest and closest to the Master Jesus. The apostle Thomas was, in fact, his brother; and Mary, his beloved companion and wife. But why would the Roman Church conceal this important information from its followers? Why, indeed, would the early clerics (specifically, Pope Gregory I in 591 CE) endeavor to portray Mary Magdalene as a prostitute when it can be established with a little independent research that she was in truth of noble descent, a fitting consort for a king?

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In the old Hebrew tradition, a man was not considered a man – what more a Master or Rabbi – till he was married. Celibacy was considered neither a requirement nor a virtue in Judaism, except among certain ascetic sects like the Nazarites wherein sexual intercourse was sanctioned only at specific periods and essentially for procreative purposes. Students of the Qabbala will inform you that the Anglicized form of the name “Jesus” robs it of numerological and mystical significance. The Aramaic form “Yeshua” or Hebraic “Yeheshuah” both yield rich qabbalistic meaning when rendered in Hebrew letters as YHShWH. The letter Ψ (Shin) represents “a triune essence” – the principle of 3 (the Paraclete or Holy Spirit); whilst YHWH is also known as Tetragrammaton, the principle of 4 (Physical Matter or Form). Thus we have in YH+Sh+WH an alphabetic expression of the fusion of Spirit and Matter: The Word Made Flesh. Note, too, that 3 + 4 = 7 (the universal number of Mystery); while 3 X 4 = 12 (base number of the duodecimal system of reckoning underpinning Western civilization). When Jesus or Yeheshuah declares, “My Father and I are One,” he is simply stating that he embodies the divine in human form. In other words, he has successfully aligned and integrated his human ego-personality with his individual soul, as well as his cosmic oversoul. Or, in psychological parlance: his id, ego, and superego are in harmonious balance, qualifying him as a Self-Realized Master or Godman. As for the appellation “Christ,” our etymological options begin with the Greek christos – usually defined as “anointed” (it was ancient practice to massage sacrificial victims or candidates for divine kingship with fragrant oils or unguents). Interestingly, the Greek word khrisma means unguent – and it is indeed tempting to associate it with another Greek word, kharisma, which suggests a favour, grace, or talent divinely conferred. Jesus the Christ was indisputably a charismatic personality. In Latin the word crista - from which the English term “crest” derives – denotes a plume or tuft affixed on a helmet. Crest also means the top of a ridge or the highest point of a wave, and is used in heraldry to denote the family coat of arms or corporate emblem. In effect, the word “Christ” is not so much a name as a title – as in Anointed Chief or Divine King. The Hebrew word for messiah is masiah, derived from messeh, the fat of sacred crocodiles used in Egyptian anointment rites. This would explain why Gnostic texts refer to Yeheshuah in English as “Jesus the Christ” and not “Jesus Christ” – to emphasize the distinction between the man and his status as the anointed king of a specific bloodline – the bloodline of the Holy Grail.

The

publication, in 1982, of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (authored by three BBC documentary producers - Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln) caused a ripple of controversy within the ranks of Christian orthodoxy. Messrs Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln had started out researching the history of the Knights Templar for a documentary on medieval Europe. What they unearthed was a mother lode of esoteric lore leading all the way back to Palestine, Egypt, and beyond – and it all concerned a life-and-death struggle over the future of humanity. The secret brotherhoods that have proliferated throughout history – indeed, that have subtly influenced the course of history itself – have their origins in the mythical mists of antiquity. Some fraternities, like the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosy Cross (AMORC) aka the Rosicrucians, claim the enigmatic pharaoh Akhnaton as their

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founder. Others hint that their initiatory roots reach even farther back to the legendary lost continent of Atlantis. In any case, the Knights Templar originated in the 11th Century after a small group of French nobles recaptured Jerusalem from the Saracens and established a base close by the ruins of Solomon’s Temple. The possibility that they may have found a hoard of buried treasure and sacred relics including the famous Ark of the Covenant dating from the time of Moses – makes for a truly fascinating study. From humble beginnings as a military religious order, the Knights Templar rapidly grew in economic and political influence until they were perceived as a direct threat to the Roman Catholic Church, and brutally destroyed. On Friday, October 13, 1307, hundreds of Templars were imprisoned by order of the French King Philip IV, with the blessing of Pope Clement V, and tortured till they confessed to sexual deviancy and blasphemy – and then mercilessly burnt at the stake. The superstitious who fear ill fortune every Friday the Thirteenth may be surprised to learn the historical origins of this particular phobia. This was indeed a bloodstained period (which, shockingly, lasted from 1231 to 1834) in the annals of the Church - when millions of “heretics” were persecuted and cruelly executed by the barbaric Inquisition, instigated by a succession of popes and monarchs, to forcefully suppress all threats to the earthly power structure and protect the vested interests of the ruling elite. The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail has as its central theme the long-suppressed genealogy of the Christic bloodline carried into the modern epoch by Miriam of Mygdala, better known as Mary Magdalene. A convincing case is made on behalf of a dynastic succession generated by the royal union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Obviously, this would negate Rome’s claims to any moral or spiritual authority over Christendom – and furthermore serve to anchor the life of Jesus the Christ in a radically (and intriguingly) different sociopolitical context. The early 1980s witnessed a feminist revolution of sorts among biblical scholars. Elaine Pagels published The Gnostic Gospels, an interpretation of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts which postulates the equal status between Father and Mother aspects of the Godhead. Other women academics like Karen King and Janet Schaberg popularized a fresh perspective of Mary Magdalene as a personage of considerable stature, power and authority in the early church. Margaret Starbird - an independent scholar and theologian with a Roman Catholic background - emerged as the bestknown voice of the feminist restoration, with three impactful and impeccably referenced books: The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, The Goddess in the Gospels, and Magdalene’s Lost Legacy: Symbolic Number and Sacred Union in Christianity. More recently, Dan Brown’s phenomenal best-seller – The Da Vinci Code – reiterates the Magdalenian theme in a modern Grail quest presented as a thrill-a-minute whodunit. The esoteric motifs of Brown’s murder-mystery masterpiece will be familiar to millions around the world by the time the movie version completes its circuit of the cinemas and gets recirculated on television. It is too early yet to gauge what effect this information, so brilliantly researched and packaged, will have on Christianity’s pet beliefs. Is the global popularity of The Da Vinci Code (more than 60 million copies sold at this writing) an indication that humanity has finally outgrown its fear of examining skeletons long concealed in the closets of establishment history?

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In the original Hebrew version of Genesis, the name of God always appears in its plural form as Elohim. When God is quoted as saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” it implies that a group of creator gods is being addressed. Jehovah is a relatively recent Anglicization of Yahweh, the monotheistic Adonai (Lord) of the Hebrews, who alternately appears as YHWH. According to Laurence Gardner, YHWH originally represented the four members of the heavenly family: Father, Mother, Son, and Daughter. The Mother Aspect or Sacred Feminine was revered as Shekinah, sister and spouse to the Father Aspect of the Godhead. Somewhere down the line, a creeping misogyny infected the male priesthood and effectively supplanted the nurturing Goddess (Mother Nature or Gaia) with a punitive, patriarchal, militantly vengeful monotheism. The Book Religions (particularly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) which emphasized the “infallible” authority of their official scriptures, turned their adherents into ideologues, disconnected from the natural flow and ecstatic dance of Life itself. Instead of revering the miraculous physical reality of their own bodies – and, by extension, that of the natural environment and, ultimately, the entire living cosmos – believers were required to hold as sacred an ecclesiastically sanctioned set of written rules and regulations - purportedly channeled from on high, but expediently inscribed, modified, misinterpreted and perverted by those intent on institutionalizing belief systems as an effective means of social engineering. It doesn’t take long for a handful of professional scribes and clerics, operating within a largely illiterate populace, to degenerate into a secretive cabal of power brokers, manipulating public opinion and behavior to its own diabolical ends. Therein lies the fundamental flaw of fundamentalism.

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CHAPTER FOUR

T RADITIONAL V IRTUE S My

father and mother instilled in me the ideals of honesty, gratitude, loyalty, forgiveness, doing no conscious harm to others, aspiring to improve oneself, being content with one’s lot, respect for others, and accountability for all our actions. The fact that my parents were devout Christians was perhaps merely incidental. I’m sure they would have upheld the same ethical notions had they been, say, Buddhists, Hindus, or agnostics. Father insisted that, as Christians, we should set ourselves very high standards in our interactions with society. We must be completely honest and sincere in all our dealings. We must not cheat, tell lies, or knowingly harm others. He told us being honest was the most efficient way to conduct our lives. Being honest was ultimately profitable, he reasoned. Being arrested, fined or imprisoned for dishonest practices was not only ruinous in financial terms, it would also destroy our reputations, discredit our family name, and jeopardize our careers. Father was a fine example of a pragmatic idealist. A quiet, shy, and extremely private person, my father seldom, if ever, said grace at mealtimes or prayed aloud - whether at home or in public. “Grant unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar” was one of my father's favorite quotes from the New Testament. He was certainly no tax dodger, and believed it was important to pay our taxes in full if we wanted to live in a compassionate and just society. In hindsight, my parents’ robust moral standards went a long way towards redeeming the less noble facets of Christian fundamentalism. “We must always be thankful to God, and to our fellow men, for all we have received, because life can be precarious,” my father would repeatedly remind us. He had lived through the Japanese occupation of Malaya from December 1941 to August 1945, and had vivid memories of hunger and deprivation. “Be grateful for the smallest morsel we receive,” he said. Gratitude is ingrained in me. When I finished high school in Malaysia in 1971, my parents didn’t have enough funds to finance me through college. I managed to borrow M$200 (US$80) from my mother's younger sister for the initial payment to study accountancy at a private college. There were ten more monthly payments of M$75 to complete the first of the three-year accountancy course. My father, a government clerk, had little by way of savings. My mother, then 42, had never worked, but she rolled up her sleeves and secured a job as a cook in a ceramic factory about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from home. Her monthly pay was M$80 (US$35) during her first year, and when she became chief cook, her pay increased to M$100, a whopping twenty-five percent increase. Despite the long hours and the exhausting work, she viewed it as a rewarding experience. Going out to work opened up a whole new world for my mother. Her evangelical zeal thrived in the new environment. The factory staff really loved her cooking, and she soon became their spiritual counselor as well. Quite a few souls in that ceramic factory were saved from hell and damnation during my mother’s tenure as chief cook.

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Six days a week she worked at the factory while attending to her usual chores at home. She started work at 7:00 a.m. and finished at 6:00 p.m. She had to leave home by 6:30 - but before that she would do the washing and hang out the clothes. After serving breakfast she would prepare lunch, leaving the food for my father and my brothers on the dining table, covered with a fly screen. Upon returning home at 6:30 in the evening (after a 2-kilometer uphill trek), my mother would cook the evening meal. As we ate, she would bring in the laundry and begin ironing clothes. Then she would feed herself and wash the dishes. None of the menfolk ever offered to help. In a traditional Asian home men are not expected to do housework. Few Chinese girls today would put up with such male chauvinism, especially those who have studied abroad. As a student in England, and subsequently as a migrant in Australia, I quickly realized the disadvantage of not having had any training in basic household chores like cooking, dishwashing, laundry and ironing. I had to learn the hard way, through trial and error, but now I appreciate even more acutely the sacrifices my mother made for her family. At the end of every month for two whole years, my mother handed her hard-earned pay to me in an envelope. This motivated me to finish my accountancy course in the shortest time possible. I began giving private tuition to high school and junior accountancy students to supplement my mother’s subsidy. And so I completed the British accountancy course in two years instead of the usual three years. With a recommendation from my senior lecturer at college, I immediately accepted a position as a senior lecturer in accountancy at the MARA Institute of Technology in Shah Alam. My starting salary as a senior lecturer was more than double my father's clerical wage. Within a few months, I was able to repay my loan to my mother's younger sister (bless her memory) and I endeavored to repay her kindness by showering gifts on her family. I was relieved my mother was able to quit her job when I became a lecturer. My father was a kind person. He loved feeding stray dogs and cats. Despite his modest means, he always had some spare change in his pockets to give to those in need. He detested office politics and assiduously avoided it, often to the detriment of his own career. He believed that only God was qualified to judge. On the last day of my father's life, he was in a state of contentment, at peace with himself. He summoned my mother to his bedside for a quiet chat. She told us later he was unusually happy and jovial. He seemed to know his time on Earth was at an end. He shut his eyes and rested his right hand on his forehead, mumbling something as he dozed off. My mother left his side briefly to attend to some household task. A few minutes later she returned and discovered he had stopped breathing. He was 69 years old.

When I was a lad in high school, I told myself I’d be the happiest man in the world if I could obtain a college education. This would mean a good, steady career, a family home, and a reliable car. A Volvo sedan would be perfect, I thought.

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Ten years later, after I had attained all these goals, I wanted more. Now if I could migrate to a “developed” country like Britain or Australia, my life would be complete. Another five years down the line, that was achieved. My ambitions mounted. I set my sights on a top-paying position in the IT industry. That took another five years to materialize. Was I satisfied? Next I desired to own more city investment apartments, and to enjoy more vacations abroad. Where and when would my ambitions end? In my zealous quest for wealth and success, I lost touch with my heart. I realized, almost too late, that my family was barely tolerating me. Outright rebellion erupted in 1999 and I didn’t know how to handle it. That was an excruciatingly difficult time for me. My anxiety levels rose rapidly. I feared I would lose what I truly cherished and loved. Until my daughter turned sixteen, I never attended any of my children's school activities. I felt a deep sense of shame and remorse when my wife pointed this out to me. Where had I been all those years when my two children were growing up? When I moved into Information Technology in 1984, my work took me away from home for weeks at a stretch. Living out of the proverbial suitcase, I spent less than half my time as a father and husband. During my annual leave, I would opt to visit my parents in Malaysia for a week or two – usually without my wife and kids. I was in acute danger of losing touch completely with my own family. Like most Asian fathers, I assumed that since I was providing the financial needs of my immediate family, they would be grateful and satisfied. I bought my wife a car and paid all the household bills. I didn’t think they would need much else. I was utterly unaware that there was a problem. Looking back, I wonder how I could possibly have been so insensitive and self-centered. My wife and kids, bless their hearts, decided to give me another chance. Unfortunately, by the time I realized the folly of my self-obsession, both my children had reached their teens - and teenagers tend to prefer the company of their peers rather than “hang out” with their “uncool” parents. Despite my fervent Christian fundamentalism as a teenager in Malaysia, I went through a rebellious phase: against the wishes of my parents, I kept my hair long and wore tight pants (would you believe I was a Beatles fan?). However, as a compromise, I did keep myself and my long hair clean - and my clothes were always freshly laundered, thanks to my hardworking mother, who passed away peacefully after a long illness towards the end of 2004. Sadly, she died convinced that I had disqualified myself from joining her in Heaven – simply because I no longer worshiped Jesus Christ as God, nor did I accept the Holy Bible’s absolute inerrancy.

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CHAPTER FIVE

C REATIONISM R EVISITED When

Erich von Däniken published his controversial Chariots of the Gods? in the early 1970s, many dismissed him as a sensationalist crank. Von Däniken’s chief contention was that the Earth had been visited and colonized by extraterrestrial races who had long mastered interstellar travel. Unfortunately, von Däniken’s fondness for exclamation points and his literary inelegance detracted from his otherwise well-documented theses. He had poured a large part of his personal fortune, and many years of field research, into his obsession with mysterious and colossal artefacts that abound all over the planet - from the Pyramids of Giza and Central America to the gigantic geoglyphs of Nazca, and the megalithic monuments of Rapa Nui. Von Däniken may have achieved instant international notoriety with his hard-hitting best-sellers, but he was certainly not the first to delve into this taboo area of paleoanthropological and exobiological conjecture. Indeed, as early as 1953, Desmond Leslie had co-authored a book with George Adamski who claimed to have had personal contact with space visitors. Their book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, was reissued as a paperback in 1970 and became a cult classic among ufologists, along with the writings of George Hunt Williamson (Secret Places of the Lion, Road in the Sky) who forged a potent link between ETs and esoteric lore. Another important early work on the subject was The Sky People by Brinsley Le Poer Trench (published by Neville Spearman in 1963). Worldwide interest in UFO phenomena spread at lightspeed. The noted psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung commented on the archetypal significance of UFOs in his journals. Award-winning novelist Doris Lessing incorporated the ET question into her Canopus in Argos trilogy in the late 1970s, written from the perspective of a Sirian colonial agent. Along came Uri Geller, the Israeli spoon-bender, whose collaboration with Dr Andrija Puharich resulted in a series of astonishing books revealing the presence of interstellar entities proactively involved with earthly affairs. Despite the best efforts of academic status quoists and business-as-usual lobbyists, the Little Green Men From Mars refused to leave the limelight. In 1994, respected Harvard psychiatrist John E. Mack published his findings in a level-headed book called Abduction: Human Encounters With Aliens – investigations into some 200 cases of alien abduction. Mack was prepared to stake his professional reputation on his personal conclusion - the abductees were reporting true experiences; and there is a great deal more to mundane reality than meets the eye. What evidence, if any, can we find that might ground these notions in the realm of common sense and reason? How about written records, engraved on clay tablets in cuneiform script, some 6,000 years old? Zecharia Sitchin spent more than three decades studying the Sumerian clay tablets and soaking up Mesopotamian lore. Sitchin has the unique advantage of being a multilinguist with a handful of dead languages at his command. His laborious Mesopotamian research was published in a series called The Earth Chronicles, beginning with The Twelfth Planet in 1976.

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Sitchin’s

interpretation of the Sumerian records boldly crosses the boundary between history and science fiction. The stories engraved in ancient clay spoke of Sky Gods who established a colony on Earth to prospect for precious metals, particularly gold. Described as “the ones that descended from heaven” (Anunnaki in Sumerian and Nefilim in Hebrew), these creator gods claimed to be sons and daughters of ANU, the King of Heaven. According to the Sumerian chronicles, the Sky Gods’ first terrestrial encampment was called E.RIDU – meaning “cultivated place away from home” – and the word subsequently went through various permutations as Aratha or Ereds in Aramaic, Eretz in Hebrew, Erde in German (Erda in Old High German), Jördh in Icelandic, Jord in Danish, Airtha in Gothic, Erthe in Middle English, and Earth in modern English. The first wave of Anunnaki settlers were under the command of ANU’s firstborn, the Lord E.A (whose mother was of a serpent race that had earlier arrived on the planet and had now gone subterranean). Soon E.A, Lord of the Waters, became known as EN.KI – Lord of the Firm Lands – and he was an avid engineer and scientist who embarked on a thorough study of terrestrial flora and fauna. The earliest gold mines were located in AB.ZU (southeastern Africa) and as work progressed, more workers arrived to tunnel and dig. ANU then sent his second son, EN.LIL, Lord of the Winds and Regent of Heaven, to govern the growing Earth colony. After 40 Anunnaki Years (about 144,000 terrestrial years), the goldminers began to chafe at the harsh conditions on Earth and there was mutiny in the air. The incipient sibling rivalry between EN.KI and EN.LIL flared up in their differing perspectives on the problem of striking workers. EN.LIL wanted to punish the workers for insubordination, while EN.KI (who had been among them from the outset) was sympathetic to their plight and argued on their behalf. Finally EN.KI proposed a scientific solution to this archetypal rift between labor and management: he would enlist the aid of his half-sister NIN.TI - a brilliant geneticist whose name means Lady of Life (or Lady of the Rib, because the word TI also denotes the rib) - and attempt to create a semi-intelligent slave race to perform all the menial tasks. After much trial and error, EN.KI and NIN.TI succeeded in manufacturing and cloning a modified primate which they dubbed the A.DAMA (“created from red clay”). It was smart enough to be taught the use simple tools, but not sufficiently intelligent to notice what a raw deal it was getting. The experiment succeeded to the extent that the Anunnaki workers were relieved from the arduous hazards of digging and tunneling. However, cloning these A.DAMA was a time-consuming procedure. Consequently, EN.KI and NIN.TI decided to contribute their own genetic material and create a self-replicating new breed of A.DAMA in uterus, thereby facilitating sexual reproduction. This led to a dilution of the Anunnaki bloodlines over time, as many of the Earth-based Sky Gods became enamored of their pet slaves, which they affectionately called the LU.LU. The Book of Genesis (chapter 6, verses 1 and 2) coyly skims over this era of genetic confusion: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Sitchin gives a detailed account of the Great Deluge as recorded in the Sumerian epic called Enuma Elish (literally, “When the gods walked among us”). EN.LIL was worried about the rapidly reproducing Adamic-Anunnaki strain of human and wished

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to obliterate this genetic aberration before it got out of control. When the I.GI.GI (“Watchers in the Sky”) stationed in the orbiting mother ship reported to Ground Command that a major wobble in the planetary axis was expected in a matter of months, EN.LIL summoned all ranking officers to an emergency council and made them swear an oath of silence about the impending catastrophe. The Anunnaki would prepare to evacuate Earth just before the axial wobble, leaving the A.DAMA and all genetic monstrosities to perish. There could be no extermination program more elegant and efficient – as well as convenient, that is, morally acceptable to Sky Gods who preferred to keep their hands clean and their conscience clear. Now, EN.KI had also sworn complicity to EN.LIL’s plan to cleanse the planet of genetic mutations – but he was deeply attached to the semi-sapient creature he and NIN.TI had spawned in their laboratory. Indeed, EN.KI had been secretly enhancing the A.DAMA strain to produce a small number of A.DAPA – an adaptable new breed with enough brain capacity to learn astronomy, physics, and mathematics, thereby trainable as an elite priesthood to the Sky Gods. Perhaps the term “Adept” as it occurs in magical traditions etymologically derives from “Adapa.” Among the A.DAPA, EN.KI had a particular favorite named Ziusudra whom he summoned to his abode near the source of the Nile. Ziusudra entered the Temple of EN.KI, only to find himself alone... except for a pre-recorded message from his Lord advising him to construct a seaworthy vessel according to a specific design, gather his extended family about him, along with a digitized and compressed genetic database covering a wide spectrum of terrestrial flora and fauna (encoded and recorded in what might today be described as blueray DVD discs, but which in Sumerian were called MEs.) The Voice of The Lord commanded that when the sky was seen to glow, it would be Ziusudra’s cue to enter the craft and batten down the hatches securely. Accompanying Ziusudra and his family would be experienced navigators with instructions to steer the craft towards Mount Ararat, where they would drop anchor and wait for the turbulent seas to subside. The same legend is found in Babylonian mythology - specifically in the Epic of Gilgamesh - though Ziusudra’s name appears therein as Utnapishtim, from whom Gilgamesh claimed direct descent. Many millennia down the line, Hebrew scribes transformed his name to Noah, in what is now known as the Old Testament.

As

the Sky Gods lifted off from Earth en masse, the heavens glowed with the radiance of their spaceships. Ziusudra knew it was time to board the vessel, fully provisioned with supplies for several weeks, and await the tidal waves that would soon sweep all traces of civilization from the face of the Earth. For forty days and forty nights, as the tale has passed down from generation to generation, there was no dry land in sight. Terrestrial flora and fauna were wiped out instantly, along with the Adamic populations – except, of course, for Ziusudra and crew, who eventually alighted from their vessel atop Al Judi peak in the vicinity of Ararat, and surveyed the horrific desolation around them. Meanwhile, safe in their orbiting spacecraft high above the earth, the Sky Gods felt the pangs of remorse and profound sorrow at the sight of the wholesale devastation below. They had seen the terrified faces of the LU.LUs as the raging waters engulfed their homes, and heard the piercing screams of women and children as they drowned

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by the thousands, by the millions. They saw priests and priestesses stoically seated in prayer and meditation, calmly awaiting oblivion. But to whom were they praying; on what were they meditating? Their Makers were high and dry above them, documenting their demise for their own scientific archives, seemingly indifferent – or powerless to save them. Even so, devotion and faith registered on the serene faces of the supplicants as they clung to the disintegrating pillars of their temples, and then vanished abruptly into the murderous maw of the murky maelstrom. The disturbing memory of this cataclysm was forever etched in the minds of the observing Sky Gods. Even EN.LIL, aloof in his divine splendor, was beginning to regret his decision to exterminate the hominid slave species. And so, when the Sky Gods returned to Earth after her magnetic field had been reinstated, and a measure of stability had been restored to the planet’s orbit, they were overjoyed and relieved to discover that a tiny remnant of humanity had actually survived. No questions were asked, although it was fairly obvious that an early warning had been leaked to Ziusudra. The sibling Lords EN.KI and EN.LIL agreed to cooperate in the task of rehabilitating earthly civilization and, in record time, cities populated by the illegitimate descendants of the Sky Gods sprang up seemingly overnight like mushrooms, and human civilizations once again began to proliferate across the continents. The Great Deluge is a recurring theme in all mythologies. In the Malayan Peninsula, aboriginal tribes speak of how the land was repopulated after a massive flood which destroyed everyone except their divine ancestors. Similar accounts can be found in folkloric traditions from almost every indigenous culture around the globe. Paleoanthropologists speculate that this period of regeneration probably dates from around 10,800 BCE – coinciding with the end of the last glacial era, which reshaped land masses and radically altered climatic zones. And what became of the Sky Gods – the Anunnaki or Nefilim who colonized the planet approximately 430,000 years ago? The Enuma Elish speaks of divine kings and queens whose reigns apparently endured over thousands of terrestrial years – and how their human progeny eventually were granted rulership of the lands, while the gods themselves retired into obscurity (lurking in the astral?), or perhaps they were repatriated to their home planet. Nevertheless, the Sky Gods seem to have left us a genetic legacy of sibling rivalry, warlordism, and destructive technology – a lethal combination indeed. They also implanted religious belief systems designed to remotely control us through superstitious terror – exposing our ancestors to extreme degrees of shock and awe, while flaunting deadly weapons in perpetual cycles of warfare, using their slightly retarded progeny as cannon fodder. Thus was the absurd notion of righteous war (call it a crusade or jihad) seeded in the human psyche – along with the insane belief that anyone dying in such a noble cause automatically attained martyrdom, and was thereby assured a place in heaven.

The

best puppeteers are the ones whose hands are never seen. Some say the extraterrestrial influence on earthly affairs remains undiminished, although it has become well-nigh invisible. While mainstream academics and politicians persist in ridiculing all talk of ETs and UFOs, relegating discussion of such topics to the lunatic

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fringe, dedicated researchers continue to investigate the phenomena, often at high cost to their own careers and reputations. What would inspire a medical doctor like Steven M. Greer to devote more than ten years of his life, ultimately abandoning a lucrative practice, to lobby for classified data on ET activities to be made public? Among ufologists and exobiologists, there is a widespread belief that an elite cabal exists – nicknamed the Shadow Government comprising influential individuals from the military, industrial, financial and corporate sectors, which has collaborated for decades with several ET contingents, unbeknownst to the public at large. Indeed, the late U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was allegedly introduced in 1954 to representatives of the Zeta-Drako Alliance (generically called the Greys in exopolitical circles; for more data visit Dr Michael Salla’s excellent site at www.exopolitics.org) who offered to share some of their advanced technology in exchange for the right to conduct genetic research on a random sampling of human beings and domestic animals. It appears that Eisenhower was of two minds about the wisdom of doing shady deals with these DNA-sampling ETs. However, he was to discover that being the President in no way meant he had the final word on top secret decisions. In his January 1961 retirement speech, Eisenhower made some pointed remarks which have been widely quoted in recent years: "In the councils of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Forty years later, on May 9, 2001, Dr Steven Greer and his associates hosted a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., wherein the Disclosure Project was officially launched. More than twenty retired airforce and naval officers risked prosecution by revealing that they possessed concrete evidence of the Shadow Government’s covert agenda with ET races. They sought a congressional rescindment of their security oaths, so that they could make public whatever they knew without being arrested and imprisoned. The press conference was reported in the mainstream press, but with a tongue-in-cheek spin to ensure that the public would receive this earthshaking news with a pinch of salt... and turn immediately to the sports section or the business pages. As to be expected, nothing of consequence – at least, not on the visible level followed from Steven Greer’s historic press conference. However, those interested may pursue their own research at www.disclosureproject.org and perhaps purchase a CD containing the full 500-page briefing plus seventy pages of witness testimonies. A shadowy consortium of potentates and warlords (who inherited or usurped the divine right of rulership from the ancient Sky Gods) pull the economic, political, military, and religious strings on this planet – and they are extremely reluctant to relinquish control of our evolutionary programs. After all, knowing full well that the truth will emerge and set humanity free, they are in a very tight spot indeed. As Winston Churchill once remarked, quoting a Hindustani proverb: “Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers from which they dare not dismount.”

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CHAPTER SIX

E XPLORING I NNER S P ACE The

major shifts in my perceptions have all occurred as a result of deep contemplation - an activity some call “meditation” and extol as an absolute prerequisite on the spiritual path. Yet, oddly enough, meditation is a big no-no amongst many Christian fundamentalists, who regard it as an invitation to spirit possession. They maintain that fervent faith and a tenacious belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are more than sufficient to assure them a place in the Christian heaven. There isn’t much one can say to anybody who has opted to seal themselves within an impermeable belief system that will allow no new inputs or alternative viewpoints. Indeed, I recall quite clearly my own mindset – and that of my parents and church colleagues – in the days when I was proud of my bona fide as “a good Christian soldier.” Now it seems like a different lifetime ago. What amazes me still is the manner in which the cracks that began to appear in my fundamentalism slowly widened... until one day the entire structure imploded and I was left with... nothing! It was a truly scary feeling, to be alone and adrift in a vast ocean of unbelief and unknowing, neither here nor there, uncomfortable with the past and uncertain of the future, with nobody to turn to except myself. My vision quest had brought me in contact with books on yoga and Zen Buddhism, all of which focused on meditative practice as the key to inner growth. I had nothing to lose at this juncture, so I gave meditation a go. Allowing one’s haphazard thoughts to settle slowly like sediments to the bottom of a pool is easier attempted than achieved. The key is to befriend confusion itself. I forget which Zen master it was who advised his students to value patience – because it takes a bit of patience to do absolutely nothing and simply watch the murky waters of the mind begin to clear, as the metaphorical sediments finally touch bottom. “Confusion is a good sign,” the master said. “It indicates that your mind is receiving new ideas which take a while to integrate. In time all becomes clear again.” There was a great deal of mental murk to deal with when I first began to meditate. Many a time I decided to give it all up and learn to live with perpetual confusion. However, that didn’t sit well with my accountant’s training. If nothing else, clarity is paramount when dealing with balance sheets, financial ledgers, and performance charts. Since I fancied myself a good accountant with a firm grip on information technology, I knew that clarity was an attainable state. So I persevered in my practice. I found that doing it within a group was very helpful, as one is supported and sustained by the collective intent to experience stillness. After a while, the indescribable bliss one feels during those moments becomes the only incentive one needs to spend a few minutes each day quieting the mental chatter. Most people who have meditated for a few years find the practice as routinely refreshing as brushing one’s teeth. Not a big deal, but it’s certainly great to remove the gunk from one’s mouth. To be able to empty one’s mind – even for a few minutes – is an exceedingly energizing and self-rewarding procedure. You could say meditation refreshes the soul while clearing the mind and recharging the body.

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Even more significantly, the practice of deep contemplation or meditation is a crucial step towards exploring the vast universes inhabiting Inner Space. The ancient Hermeticists had a credo: “As above, so below.” We would do well to add: “As within, so without.” Most of us spend the greater part of our lives engaged with the outer reality, which mystics call the phenomenal world, or samsara. Some, inspired by the movie, might opt to call it The Matrix. Terminologies change: what the Hindus called maya (illusion) thousands of years ago, we would today describe as holographic. When we begin to explore Inner Space, we shift from illusion to what some might term delusion... simply because it occurs only subjectively. However, if we remain unattached to these “delusions” they eventually become internal reference points, distinguishable landmarks of one’s mental terrain – and thus one begins to navigate with greater confidence the unexplored oceans of possibility within one’s being. Experienced meditators often speak of encounters with “spirit guides” or “guardian angels” when their vision is turned inwards. It matters not whether these entities are “real” or “imaginary” – in Inner Space there are no boundaries between reality and the imagination. In fact, one gradually learns to trust one’s capacity to imagine – especially when one realizes that the Imagination is the womb of all ideas, and when they are born into the outer world, we say a potentiality is now actualized. Indeed, the freedom we experience in Inner Space can make us feel trapped in apparent limitations when we re-emerge into the Outer World. At times it feels like a hangover after a night of uninhibited festivity. However, it’s far more constructive to view it as an opportunity to realign our inner selves with our outward personalities. When our internal and external realities are in harmony and well-balanced, we are several steps closer to attaining self-mastery. And that is ultimately what every vision quest is about.

Meditation

is NOT the goal, it’s essentially a very powerful tool with which we can tweak our mindsets and worldviews until they serve us, rather than the other way around. Whether one happens to be born in America, Malaysia, Australia, Iceland, Albania, Patagonia, or Zimbabwe, one arrives with a specific amount of baggage – the genetic, cultural and linguistic legacy of both parents. These programs (for that’s essentially what they are) are hard-wired into our brain circuitry, and they often develop into what we call preconceptions and prejudices; in effect, they become perceptual blind spots, functioning much like a series of filters and determining how we experience reality and what we express by way of our opinions. It takes conscious effort to even become aware of our built-in assumptions and beliefs about life around us. Generally, we are so comfortable with our own programming it’s rare that we would decide to alter any of it – unless our lives begin to go “wrong” or we encounter powerful emotional or physiological shocks like painful bereavements, marital break ups, unexpected heart attacks, abrupt loss of income, or life-threatening “accidents.” So, for the vast majority of human beings, it’s enough to run our lives on factory default settings – that is, maintaining the beliefs we were born into and grew up with. Now, being “comfortably numb” may be how most of us adapt to a fearful, hostile, and unpredictable environment – but we’re actually trading in our infinitely creative, multidimensional selves for the false sense of security robotism and conformity impart to us.

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The industrialization of the planet impinges negatively on all lifeforms: mechanization goes hand in glove with a mechanical perspective that imposes a static routine even on the mineral kingdom, on fields and forests, on the land itself - especially when organic products like precious stones, metal, wood, fruits and vegetables, poultry and livestock are treated like mere objects, and traded as commodities without regard for where they originate, why they exist, and how they are harvested. Mainstream religions, political opinions, educational curricula, fashion trends, entertainment programs, entire lifestyles are manufactured for mass consumption and promoted in subtle and obvious ways. When Life is Strictly Business, Time is Money - which soon runs out, or is stolen from you, lack being the shadow side of greed. The individual sensitive to these hidden agendas begins to suspect that some sort of conspiracy indeed exists, and its main purpose is to ensure the smooth operation of the Machine, and keep the slaves happily oblivious of their unhappy enslavement. This planet – perhaps the entire holographic universe - has been hijacked and converted into a gigantic Energy Farm where lifeforce is generated – generation after generation - and harvested to keep the Big Con Game running ad infinitum. Such a realization is nothing short of frightening. It often triggers panic – and that’s why many of us scrupulously avoid getting too close to the edge where we might catch a glimpse of the existential abyss. Inner Space is an abyss both awe-inspiring and terrifying. As the meditation process grants us access to these unknown zones of the subconscious, it feels as though one is a deep-sea diver exploring an underwater trench whose ultimate depth is anybody’s guess. But if we never allow ourselves to venture further within, acquiring a certain degree of fearlessness in the effort, we will forever be trapped in the shallows of an artificial, hollow existence. This pilgrimage of the soul to the Holy of Holies – the Absolute Reality, Source of All Being – is ultimately what transforms and transmutes us on our spiritual journey. It is a matter of direct experience, impossible to obtain from book knowledge, and reachable only via the road less traveled. As one becomes adept at aligning and harmonizing inner and outer, private and public realities, one automatically quits being a bible-thumper, and regains a taste for the primordial truth: beyond beliefs, beyond ideology, beyond philosophy and psychology. One reconnects with one’s Core Self and at last becomes authentic... real... regal. This is why all myths echo the metaphor of the king in exile who finally regains his throne. You’ll find it in Homer’s Odyssey, you’ll find it in the Arthurian legends, in J.R.R. Tolkien, even in Christian symbology - wherein the endgame is signaled by the return of the King of Kings to consecrate the marriage of Heaven and Earth, and reinstate the genetic blueprint of paradise and perfection. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you; and the “King of Kings” is your Christed Self, the omega point of your soul evolution, whereby the Big You (My Father) and the small you (and I) fuse and become eternally One. Think fractal and you rejoin the Family of Life. The ultimate benefit of meditation is that it upgrades you from being just a Buddhist to becoming a Buddha... from being a close-minded Christian to becoming an openhearted Christ... and from being a mere Muslim to being completely at ease and at peace with All That Is and Isn’t. And what if you happen to be a freethinker? Well, your thoughts will definitely become a great deal freer with a little inner discipline.

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CHAPTER SEVEN

M EANWHILE B ACK I N O UTER S PACE The

moment one crosses that egoic threshold from purely personal concerns to planetary or even pan-galactic ones, one is reborn into entirely new reality options. Beliefs are protective cocoons, like the calcified membrane that forms a brittle shell around the growing embryos of oviparous creatures. When the lifeforce within the egg has formed itself into a bird, the shell must crack or the baby bird will die. That’s exactly how I felt when I realized I no longer qualified as an anthropocentrist, what more a Christian fundamentalist. I will always be inspired by the Christ as a symbol of our noblest aspirations, but rigid dogma dished out by professional priesthoods no longer holds any truth for me. Most people today are prepared to entertain the possibility that Consciousness may indeed pervade the infinity of spaces between atomic nuclei, and that Life could well exist - in forms known as well as unknown and unrecognized - elsewhere than on planet Earth, in the seeming vastness of a Universe comprising countless galaxies. Some have taken a step further and declared their belief that alien lifeforms are more fact than fiction. A large number are convinced that ETs are intimately linked with our evolution, if not our actual creation. A select handful even say they have had direct contact with ETs – voluntary or otherwise - and several claim outright that they are (i) earthly emissaries of certain ET contingents; (ii) they have been abducted repeatedly by ETs, usually the ones known as Zeta Reticulan Greys; (iii) they are themselves the result of hybridization experiments conducted by ETs; (iv) they have been recruited via the armed forces into covert sub-agencies linked with the NSA (National Security Agency), with codenames like MK-Ultra, MJ-12, MIB, and ACIO1, implanted with microchips, programmed through post-hypnotic suggestion to serve a totally secret agenda, and assigned to underground research facilities staffed by human and alien technicians, or transported to off-planet bases; or (v) all of the above. The very stuff of the enormously appealing TV series, X-Files! However, one need only visit a labyrinthine website at www.wingmakers.com to be confronted with the “Ancient Arrow” project – which qualifies as either one of the most brilliant and elaborate hoaxes in history – or irrefutable evidence of advanced intelligence showing us the way to a whole new mystical and scientific paradigm. 1

MK-Ultra = top-secret mind-control research program set up soon after the Korean War to develop and implement psy-ops techniques. Featured in the movie Conspiracy Theory starring Mel Gibson and Patrick Stewart. MJ-12 = Majestic 12, the Pentagon’s version of the Roman Catholic Church’s infamous Opus Dei, staffed by ultrapatriots sworn to protect America’s status as the No. 1 superpower against all enemies real or imagined, terrestrial as well as extraterrestrial. MIB = Men In Black, hardly a fictitious set-up and by no means quite as glamorous as the movies starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith make it out to be. Active since the early 1950s but possibly defunct since the late 1990s. ACIO = Advance Contact Intelligence Organization, the secret government’s clandestine R&D unit responsible for back-engineering acquired ET technology.

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To the uninitiated all this must sound like lunatic fringe nonsense. Personally I have no ET experiences that might corroborate any of the data I have encountered. However, the Harvard clinical psychiatrist, Dr John E. Mack, who interviewed 200 “abductees” and wrote a best-selling book about it, had this to say: “I would experience with these people when they would be reliving their experience, the most powerful vibration. I was in the presence of something awesome in its intensity. The experiencers themselves would give language to that. They would say something like ‘every cell in my body was vibrating!’ When you are in the presence of that, it passes your judging mind and you feel it in your whole being.” More significantly, Mack’s views are echoed by a religious spokesperson. Vatican representative, Monsignor Corrado Balducci, is quoted by Mack as saying: “We in the church take this UFO Encounter Phenomena very seriously and the reason for that is, that there seem to be so many reliable witnesses. In the church, we have had centuries of having to evaluate miraculous reports by some kind of criteria and so they had to develop the notion of the ‘reliable witnesses.’” However, the Harvard establishment did not take kindly to John E. Mack making public his private research. In 1994, soon after the publication of Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, the Dean of Harvard Medical School initiated a Kafkaesque peer review of Dr Mack’s methodology which dragged on for 14 months. It was the first time in Harvard’s history that a tenured professor had been subjected to such hostile academic inquisition. Prominent academics and researchers rallied to John E. Mack’s defence and the Dean eventually issued a statement reaffirming Mack’s academic freedom. Mack’s second book on the subject - Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters - was published in 1999 and he went on the public lecture circuit. Those close to John E. Mack opine that he became a marked man when he began delving into the geopolitical implications of his ET investigations and actively campaigning against George W. Bush. During a 2004 lecture tour in London, Mack was hit by a drunken driver while returning late at night to his lodgings. Not everybody is satisfied it was a mere accident. His associates set up a website at http://johnemackinstitute.org to document Mack’s groundbreaking work. David Icke - former sports reporter turned oracle of the far-out – has done copious research on the aristocratic bloodlines on this planet, and he is convinced they all carry a dominant reptilian strain! The gory details can be found in numerous books authored by Icke - The Robots’ Rebellion, And The Truth Shall Set You Free, The Biggest Secret, and Children Of The Matrix, to name but a few – all of which describe a hidden hierarchy dating back to the colonizing of the Earth and the creation of the first humans as semi-intelligent slaves. Icke’s perspective on the secret cabals that constitute what is called the Illuminati is impeccably documented; but because truth is so much stranger than fiction, only a tiny minority will give independent researchers like Icke any credence whatsoever - a minority too tiny to threaten the established power structure and, therefore, his books are easily available off the shelf or via the internet (www.davidicke.com). Besides, if one were to believe writers like David Icke, ordinary life would turn instantly into a nightmare of cosmic proportions – simply because we would have to reassess every single thing we’ve been told about our early history, down to the present-day political, economic, and military games being played out on the world stage. Or else, life would appear to us as one enormous cosmic joke – and we would

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be rolling on the ground with unstoppable laughter. Nonetheless, if one is truly determined to get to the bottom of things, one must be receptive to all available data and pass no hasty judgments on notions that, upon first hearing, seem way beyond the pale. What would your response be, for instance, if you came across conclusive evidence that “the world as we know it” isn’t even real – but is, in actuality, a computer-generated holographic construct designed to keep human souls recycling within a frequency lock, a sort of electromagnetic prison with invisible bars, so that their vital essence and experiential data can be harvested? Sounds like the essential plot of The Matrix, you say? Well, why do you think the film instantly became a cult classic? Simply because it strikes a resonant chord in our deep memory of Freedom before the so-called Fall, that’s why! The Wachowski brothers, who wrote and produced The Matrix series, based their work on the seminal writings of a certain Val Valerian, whose mind-bending Matrix books are sold only via his Leading Edge International Research site at www.trufax.org. Valerian’s incisive and profound ontological theses are impossible to encapsulate and suggest the work of a meta-intelligence calibrating way above the usual human range (it is becoming widely known that the majority of people operate at only a tenth of their brain potential, and even top scientists usually access no more than a third of their total brain capacity). And yet, such are the times - when information and disinformation have become the chief weapons of ideological warfare - that Val Valerian is rumored to be the nom de guerre of a former CIA agent named John Grace. But who can confirm if that imputation bears any truth? And even if it did, bear in mind that some of the smartest individuals are recruited early in life by covert intelligence agencies, only to regret their involvement at some later stage; which then leads to their turning into whistle-blowers, mavericks, and renegades. All extradimensional data is “channeled” by individuals popularly referred to as “sensitives.” That is to say, their brains and neurological systems can access frequencies most others can’t. In ancient times, these individuals were revered as oracles, seers, and prophets. Today, the mainstream media portrays them as harmless cranks at best, or dangerously deluded charlatans. You’re unlikely, for instance, to ever see somebody like Anna Hayes (who now goes by the name A’za Deane, having served some time as Ashayana) on primetime television, although she may get invited on fringe shows like Jeff Rense and Art Bell’s radio programs, or Mitch Battros’s Earth Changes TV series. She might even occasionally have an article published on alternative info websites – but if you wish to access the mind-bogglingly complex data A’za Deane has transcribed into words, you might want to read her Voyagers books, subtitled Secrets of Amenti, visit her site at www.azuritepress.com, or experience her franchised Kathara workshops on “Keylontic Science.” Who is Anna Hayes aka A’za Deane? She claims to be the earthly representative of the “Guardian Alliance” – a consortium of interstellar entities and intelligences who have the unenviable task of ensuring that humanity’s evolutionary destiny does not get thwarted. Hayes catalogs a befuddling plethora of ET contingents who do not have our best interests at heart – if, indeed, they possess anything remotely resembling a heart!

None of this is actually new information. Only the terminologies have been updated. In the classical Hindu scriptures, particularly the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, you’ll find numerous references to blue- or green-skinned gods and goddesses flying around in their vimanas – which would today be described as supersonic aircraft.

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These writings are believed by scholars to date back to at least 400 BCE – but they may derive from even older records. In these chronicles of gods and goddesses, you will also find accounts of entire cities destroyed by what would today be identified as nuclear devices, with grisly descriptions of human populations and fauna dying from a pestilence bearing all the symptons of acute radiation poisoning. The word “astral” has its etymology in the Latin astrum, meaning “star.” It also denotes a metaphysical realm of infinite potentiality. Is there a significant difference between the words “astral” and “stellar”? The great psychologist C.G. Jung - who popularized the concept of Archetypes, Anima, and Animus - made a lifelong study of dreams and the collective unconscious. He was inclined to classify UFO phenomena as projections of the deep psyche, vivid hallucinations capable of impinging on our physical senses and thereby manifesting in the 3rd Dimension – not unlike the mystical visions of “wheels within wheels” and “chariots of fire” reported by old-time prophets like Enoch, Elijah, Ezekiel, Daniel; or Muhammad’s tour of the solar system with the angel Gabriel as guide; or more recent phenomena like the Portuguese children to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1917 and delivered three messages we now know as the Fatima Prophecies. In 1960 the third prophecy was supposed to have been revealed by Pope John XXIII, but an apocryphal report has it that he fainted while reading it – which prompted the Vatican to change its mind about disclosing the full contents of the message, releasing instead an abridged version! But in the end it matters not whether an experience is subjective or objective or both – indeed, most quantum physicists agree that the notion of “objectivity” itself is probably the greatest illusion!

The

Theosophical Society was established in Adyar, India, in 1875, by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Henry Steel Olcott - an unlikely duo comprising a cigarsmoking Ukrainian divorcée and a distinguished American attorney, author, and philosopher. Blavatsky was a trance medium of exceptional prowess and was able to transcribe, with the help of Ascended Masters (Mahatmas) from the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood, copious data pertaining to the origins of sentient life in the Cosmos and the seeding of several races of humanity on Earth. Isis Unveiled, published in two volumes in 1877, was followed by The Secret Doctrine in 1888. Although Blavatsky makes no specific reference to UFOs as such, it is clear that the Master Souls from whom she obtained the data are multidimensional entities unbound by human perceptions of linear time and Euclidean space. Her highly detailed works are chock-a-block with information about Root Races that have come and gone, giving the impression that the planet itself is a sort of nursery for biological forms – and that, as each Root Race attains maturity, it departs this nursery planet for further evolutionary adventures on other planets or other dimensional planes. In effect, species do not become extinct, they simply vanish into a different frequency location. Drawing inspiration from a theosophical tradition that reaches back in time to Pythagoras – and beyond to hierophantic figures like Hermes Trismegistus and the Egyptian god of scribes, Thoth, the Theosophical Society has survived more than a century of factionalism and infighting, and still maintains its world headquarters in Adyar, today a suburb of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India.

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In the mid-1950s another fringe phenomenon began to insert itself into our mundane reality: word began spreading around esoteric circles about a project called the Urantia Book, a 2,000-page tome allegedly channeled and transcribed by an anonymous group of clairvoyants, inspired by the Melchizedek Order, and published by the Urantia Book Fellowship [www.urantiabook.org]. Not many have actually SEEN the Urantia Book – but in 2003 a softcover, indexed edition was published in New York by Uversa Press (a subsidiary of the Urantia Book Fellowship). A cursory scan of the book’s weighty contents gives one the impression that the work complements, updates, elaborates and expands on the Mormon Bible. However, the Feminine Principle does not appear to feature prominently in the scheme of creation delineated within the densely-worded pages of the Urantia cosmomythology. Indeed, the Trinity alluded to - Father, Son, and Spirit – is more or less identical to that of the Roman Church, and the Mother is consigned to a purely supportive rôle as the embodiment of Matter (Mater, materiality). One could say the Urantia Book merges mystical revelation with science fiction. Small study groups began springing up all over the world, specifically to read and discuss the data contained within the Urantia Book. Alien worlds humanly impossible to imagine are casually alluded to – and Urantia (aka Planet Earth) is categorized as an evolutionary backwater. Indeed, the subtly supercilious tone of the language gives one the impression that the entities who “dictated” the teachings view themselves as a species of prison wardens – albeit benign and cosmically conscious ones. Apart from that, the scale of evolutionary epochs described matches the unimaginably vast timeframes defined in Hindu cosmogony as yugas (a zodiacal age of more than 2,000 terrestrial years), kalpas (a precessional cycle of 26,000 years), and manvantaras (a galactic era of 432,000 years). Furthermore, the multitude of dimensional realities and worlds hinted at in the Urantia Book bring to mind the many lokas mentioned in Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. Another mysterious event in publishing history occurred in 1973 when J.J. Hurtak inaugurated “The Academy for Future Science” and published The Keys of Enoch, a 600-page testament of his initiation into the Subtle Realms by a Master Ophanim named Enoch, emissary of YHWH and his creator gods, the Elohim. A mysterious figure often named in connection with top secret investigations into ancient artefacts such as the Great Sphinx of Giza, or recently discovered undersea ruins that point to the historical reality of lost continents like Lemuria and Atlantis, Jim Hurtak utilizes a sonorous, quasi-biblical syntax to effectively conjure a sense of religious awe and evoke intimations of divine revelation. This unique, uncategorizable work alternates between a pastiche of the Old Testament and a rocket scientist’s handbook, with mystifying references to “magnetohydrodynamic changes” and “synchrotronic radiations.” In short, Hurtak’s work is a fascinating synthesis of mystical JudaeoChristianity and offbeat quantum mechanics. In some respects, Hurtak’s career bears comparison with that of Lafayette Ron Hubbard - former U.S. Naval Intelligence operative, practising magician, pioneer researcher into mind-control techniques and cellular imprinting (Dianetics), and founder of the controversial Church of Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard was also a prolific science fiction writer, which may explain why Scientology comes so close to being a science fiction religion. Using his patented E-meter (a species of galvanometer), Hubbard trained his disciples to “audit” experiential “timetracks” in order to clear deeply embedded traumas lodged within the cells of the body. Numerous reports are recorded in the Scientology archives of individuals recalling violent deaths resulting from “battles in space” wherein their ships were blown up, and the next thing they

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knew was that their souls (or Thetans, in Scientological terminology) had taken human incarnation on planet Earth. The promise of Scientology is that one can progress from “Preclear” to “Clear” and thence graduate through various levels to “Operating Thetan VIII” – at which point one would have enhanced one’s consciousness to what others might term the Oversoul or Mahatma Plane, from which perspective one is aware of being a deathless multidimensional entity experiencing different realities through different physical vehicles. Such training, of course, doesn’t come cheap and a few celebrities are rumored to have forked out tens of thousands for “Commodore” L. Ron’s advanced tech. Despite vigorous attempts by various governments to ban or suppress the Church of Scientology, the organization has endured and drawn some prominent names (Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Leonard Cohen, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, to name just a few) into its ranks. More recently, a fellow named Bernard Perona and his girlfriend were visited by a pair of angels (one green, the other violet) during a particularly intense meditation – and soon after that, Perona switched majors in college (from mathematics and physics to fine arts and comparative religions), acquired the name Drunvalo Melchizedek, and in the early 1990s began conducting a 6-day “mystery school” seminar called the Flower of Life (or FOL). Between angel visitations, Drunvalo reports that he was contacted by a small, brown-skinned entity that later identified itself as Thoth, and who then took Drunvalo under his wings and downloaded vast amounts of data pertaining to the Univeral Mysteries. Now, all this might sound rather amusing and totally nutty, but the Flower of Life is actually a very intense crash course in activating one’s Merkaba - defined as “the ultra-high-velocity vehicle of multidimensional mobility, pranically-propelled, gyroscopic, counter-rotating, comprising electromagnetically charged fields of pure, open-hearted, Christic love.” The Merkaba, in effect, is how Ascended Masters (or Jedi, if you prefer) supposedly project their holoforms anywhere they so desire, appearing and disappearing like UFOs – and, amazingly, we learn that a Merkaba in full spin (seen side on) looks exactly like everybody’s idea of a flying saucer! One might think something as far-out as the FOL teachings would never take off – but the truth is, thousands have taken the workshop (now compressed to three days), religiously studied Drunvalo’s books, subscribe to his online magazine at www.spiritofmaat.com, or post arcane data on the FOL electronic bulletin at www.floweroflife.org. Indeed, an apocryphal account has it that sometime in 1998, an enigmatic message appeared on the FOL bulletin which raised quite a ruckus amongst the diehard New Agers who surf these esoteric sites. Apparently, God made a digital appearance on the bulletin board, announcing his physical presence on Earth (it was just a brief visit, to test the waters, so to speak) and declaring that Divine Intervention had already occurred – and that there was really absolutely nothing to worry about, because, simply put, EVERYBODY is INNOCENT and the idea of SIN itself is a BIG LIE. In this instance God signed off as “Atmanu Ram Anu, Prime Creator Source, The House of Ram.” Was this the long-awaited sign that the Original Creator Gods were back? Or just another elaborate spiritual scam from the Land of Snake Oil Salesmen? What can one make of all this outrageous data? One is reminded of a line from Bob Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man, a classic paean to the proverbial man-in-the-street, which goes: “Something is happening here/But you don’t know what it is/Do you, Mister Jones?”

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CHAPTER EIGHT

F ROM R OME T O A MERICA America

is today considered by many the only global superpower economic and military might. What led a former British colony, with an history of just over 200 years, to become “the most powerful nation even if some might view it as a “rogue” nation, feared and loathed by majority of human beings?

in terms of independent on Earth” – a staggering

A quote from American Dream, Global Nightmare by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies (Icon Books, UK, 2004): America’s efforts to rule the world and to see its own history as the destiny of all humanity are intrinsic to its mythology. Its lethal righteousness, its claim that its model of democracy is the only model, and the linking of democracy to free markets are all an integral part of its worldview. In other words, America has turned its mythology into pathology.

On planet Earth, the perception of POWER has long been confused with FORCE. All empires were founded at swordpoint, and ruled with an iron hand through sheer terror. Every empire has risen and fallen with the waxing and waning of the authority and might of a specific ruler or dynasty. Each empire has left a cultural and ideological legacy – first through the spread of a language, then through the spread of a religious belief system - and both of these factors inevitably influence the evolution of civilizations and cultures. From Sumeria to Babylon, and from Phoenicia and Egypt to Greece and, subsequently, Rome – the pattern of earthly power is clearly traceable as it migrates to ever greener pastures, in search of natural resources, more equable climates, and room to expand. With the decline of Egypt, Persia and Greece, Rome became the new center of the imperial drive. But even as its military influence began to fade, Roman law and Latin as a language of the ruling elite became firmly entrenched in Europe and Britain. A few centuries down the line, the Roman eagle – symbol of the predator from on high – migrated across the Atlantic where it became the American eagle; and the indomitable legions of Roman centurions gave way to the efficient and portable killing machine called the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Marine Corps. The degree of destructivity has grown by quantum leaps – from stone-hurling catapults, arrows and spears, to smart missiles armed with nuclear warheads, and a criminally insane arsenal of biological, chemical, electromagnetic, psychological – even climatological - weapons in less than twenty centuries.

The

lunatic dream of world domination has destroyed billions of lives and our dreams of universal peace and harmony - and brought us to the very brink of ecosystemic collapse. Where does it originate, this mad impulse to rule over all instead of oneself? This gross misunderstanding of the meaning of Mastery – which is authentic only when it takes the form of Self-Mastery, but becomes a travesty when the “master” acquires vampiric power through enslaving less aggressive individuals 39


and other lifeforms. Some erroneously believe it is an intrinsic part of “human nature” – but what we label “human nature” is really just a set of inculcated beliefs, prejudices, and legally sanctioned behaviors genetically and socioculturally instilled in each new generation. In effect, what passes as “human nature” is simply a preprogrammed Operating System chromosomally installed in our biocomputers. As such, it is possible to customize, modify, or enable and disable specific functions once we learn the encoding language. Whether you call it an aberration in the evolutionary impulse, or a defect in the genome of the species Homo sapiens, the impulse to dominate has certainly become a counter-survival program deeply embedded in the DNA of all territorial organisms. We see it clearly manifest in primate behavior, wherein the mark of an “alpha male” is invariably the length of its fangs, and the capacity and ferocity of its will to subjugate others. And yet these very qualities are held up as the unmistakable signs of “leadership potential” and political power has long been in the hands of those most unfit to rule, their genetics being the most acutely distorted by this violent and aberrant implant. We call it an “implant” because it certainly was never part of the original blueprint of existence. How do we know this to be so? Simply by entering into the primordial consciousness encoded in our DNA and accessible through our own neurology. From that quintessential perspective, it is impossible to conceive of ever creating any evolutionary program that would ultimately bring about such an intense degree of pain, suffering, and sheer abuse upon one’s own progeny. In other words, the original blueprint of existence is purely Edenic – the quest for ever more intimate and expansive degrees of self-knowledge is always predicated on the pleasure principle – never pain! Whatever interrupted and disrupted the original evolutionary program planted the seed of criminality and miscreation within the primordial genetic thread – which is in itself immortal and indestructible, though highly mutable and thus susceptible to unwholesome modification and mutation. Those who have read Zecharia Sitchin’s interpretation of the Sumerian cuneiform tablets conclude that it was indeed the Nibiruan ETs (the Anunnaki or Nefilim) who introduced this “master-slave” dominant-submissive polarity into the nascent human psyche when they manufactured the “Adama” in their Earth-based genetic laboratory. Sitchin’s calculations locate the beginning of Homo sapiens at approximately 240,000 years ago. However, paleoanthropologists have found hominid remains dating back at least a couple million years. In effect, there is no immutable data available that allows us to draw any exact conclusions as regards the origins of the present human species. Nevertheless, we may safely assume that many counter-survival behaviors were deliberately “hardwired” into our neural circuitry – mainly to prevent us from eventually figuring out how the 3D Matrix works and thereby shortcircuiting the frequency fence that keeps our awareness hemmed in, and our bodies trapped within a prescribed set of limitations. Even the aging program is essentially just a built-in mechanism triggered by a preset endocrinal clock.

The

concept of America itself is an ingenious marketing ploy packaged as an extreme form of “brand loyalty” wherein every child raised in the United States is methodically brainwashed into believing he or she lives in “the world’s greatest

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country.” This is why the typical American grows up totally insulated from any real understanding or knowledge of the world beyond the U.S.A. There is a huge gap between domestic propaganda about America being “the Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave” and America’s ignoble foreign policy - as implemented through covert CIA activities which destabilize and undermine independent local governments, while installing and propping up political stooges friendly to U.S. capital interests. This strategy of world domination through bribery and quiet coercion constitutes the thrust towards “globalization” – really an euphemism for economic and ideological colonization carried out through the clever manipulation of mass communications, thereby molding “public opinion” via the powerful tools of advertising and public relations. Five hundred years ago, mastery of the high seas was the key to world domination. The British Empire was founded on the colorful maritime exploits of swashbuckling buccaneers who earned their knighthoods by plundering, pillaging, and planting flags in the ruling monarch’s name. By the second half of the 20th century, however, the key to world domination lay in mastery of the airwaves – control of the mass media, and thereby the power to manipulate perceptions on a global scale. This is where America came into its own in the battle for the hearts and minds of the human population. Through the Hollywood Dream Factory and slickly produced TV entertainment packages, America rose to pre-eminence as the world’s biggest purveyor of canned information. Children in far-flung former British colonies grew up watching American-made movies and television programs, and were painlessly indoctrinated into accepting the American cultural idiom as their own. The U.S.A. advertised its own crass, consumeristic brand of “democracy” as the superior way of life – wherein citizens could vote every four years for Tweedledum (Republican) or Tweedledee (Democrat), while choosing from a bewildering array of TV stations and a dazzling kaleidoscope of detergents and shampoos. The American Dream was sold to the whole world under the guise of globalization. America billed itself as the de facto leader of “the Free World” during the so-called Cold War years that marked the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the Third World War – a battle of belief systems, marketing strategies, and corporate propaganda waged by professional “spin doctors” on behalf of their clients, the über-elite Old Boys’ Network that owns 99% of the banks and mass media.

However,

behind (and beyond) the Great American Marketing Machine – and way below the radar of public perception – lurks an insidious influence that has been called a variety of names, none of which comes anywhere close to describing the disease. Some conveniently label it Zionism, the Illuminati Conspiracy... or the Lucifer Effect, alluding to the allegory of how God’s most brilliant Archangel undertook the onerous task of establishing Free Will by leading a revolt in Heaven, thus creating a deep schism in the Universal Mind, splitting Energy itself into negative and positive poles. This tragicomic dualism of the embattled and “divided self” generates perpetual conflict between our public and private personas, portrayed so memorably in Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Smeagol and Gollum. Indeed, it can be said that all drama emerges from the interplay of Light and Dark - from the animated shadows on the wall of Plato’s Cave to the buffalo-hide

41


puppets of Javanese wayang kulit, Magic Lantern shows, and Dreamworks’ 3D digital imaging masterpieces. When we are fast asleep, life is but a dream (alas, sometimes a hideous nightmare). In German, “dream” is rendered as Traum – just one letter short of Trauma. The tug-of-war between Good and Evil, Angel and Demon, Left and Right, Male and Female, Rich and Poor, Arab and Jew, ceases the moment we reconcile and reconnect our inner and outer selves – thereby redeeming and reinstating Lucifer as “The Light Bringer” to his Heavenly Throne - and rejoining the famous Siamese twins, Yin and Yang who, separated at birth, grew up erroneously believing themselves to be archrivals and sworn enemies.

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CHAPTER NINE

R ELIGION, S PIRITUALITY, A ND T RUTH The

etymology of words reveals a great deal. Take religion, for example: in Latin ligare means to tie together, to bind or connect; and religare means to rejoin what was separated. Therefore, religion is what ties together, reunites or reconnects us... but with what? Our unknown origins? The mysterious source of our being? With our tribe? Certainly religion is what reconnects us with the Godhead, or Divine Nature. Along the way, the word “religion” becomes defined as “obligation” – and the idea of tying together or reconnecting somehow devolves into being tied up, bound by God’s Laws, imprisoned by rigid rules. And thus the joy of an ultimate homecoming gets twisted into an ingrained and unquestioning obedience, a sheeplike submission to restrictions externally imposed by “expert authorities.” So let us redeem religion by defining it as a means to realign with and rejoin our sovereign self, the nucleus of our cellular awareness. Call it God or Goddess, Prime Creator or Source, Great Spirit or All That Is... religion has no purpose other than to get us reconnected, in order that our soul can reintegrate with the Cosmic Oversoul. Religion is a safe route from confusion to fusion. Where does fundamentalism fit in with this definition of religion? The written word hasn’t been around very long: the oldest writings we know of are the Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating back a mere 6,000 years. Fundamentalists cling tenaciously to the literal truth of their scriptures. They worship the written word as divine memos from On High. That’s why it takes a book religion to produce a fundamentalist – and the three best-selling book religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I don’t know what form Jewish fundamentalism takes, but you can be sure that in its extreme manifestation, it’s not particularly friendly towards non-Jews - just as Christian and Muslim fundamentalists don’t admit “infidels” into their paradise, and certainly not into their hearts. Reading and writing are mostly left-brain activities engaging a “logical” masculine bias. Thus, the worship of the written word is of necessity a linear approach to nonlinear reality: it perceives the divine as an Almighty Father and gives rise to a patriarchal, polarized social order that separates good from evil, light from dark, right from wrong, the sheep from the goats. It’s easy to see how, in a pastoral community where illiteracy is the norm, the literate few can wield enormous influence over the many simply by monopolizing the interpretation and perpetuation of scriptures. Now let’s take a look at what spirituality is all about. Spirit has been set apart from Matter as if the twain should never meet. Yet when we approach both Spirit and Matter from a scientific perspective, we find that the difference seems to be essentially vibrational: that is to say, Matter is what happens to Spirit when it slows itself down to a lesser frequency. Albert Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2, suggests

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that mass and energy are interchangeable under certain conditions determined by velocity. Another 20th century genius, R. Buckminster Fuller, postulated that 99.9% of the electromagnetic spectrum is metaphysical, that is, beyond the range of our sense organs and even our most sophisticated instruments. This means the physical world experienced through our senses and our scientific tools actually constitutes less than 0.1% of “reality.” However, it’s possible to evolve to the point where 100% of the reality spectrum becomes accessible – by becoming, literally, All That Is! In a holographic universe, the difference between what’s micro and what’s macro is merely a question of scale. The Master Jesus is quoted as saying: “My Father and I are One.” Was he implying that he had attained a fractal awareness of the Godhead, of the Totality of Being? As a Son of God, he was divine; and as a Son of Man, human. This fulfils Meister Eckhardt’s mystical dictum that God must become Man, so that Man can become God. In other words, the separation between Spirit and Matter is only apparent. But we have people at both ends of the reality spectrum, each claiming their end is superior or more important - a bit like the long-running feud between the Little Enders and the Big Enders in Gulliver’s Travels, wherein perpetual war is waged to decide which end of the egg should be regarded as the top! To the scientific materialist, Matter is all that matters; while the mystic argues that Spirit permeates all space and time, and must therefore precede and prevail over Matter.

If

Spirit and Matter are two sides of the proverbial coin, what does it mean to be a “spiritual” person? Superficially, one who shows less interest in material comforts could be described as “spiritual” – but does that indicate a more “correct” lifepath than someone who pays greater attention to materiality? If Spirit and Matter are indeed complementary, just like Yin and Yang, doesn’t it make sense for us to seek a dynamic equilibrium between these polarities. “X” marks the spot where Spirit and Matter intersect, where the horizontal meets the vertical, and what was once separate becomes whole... and holy! The Christ, instead of being seen as Spirit crucified on the Cross of Matter, is said to be simply on axis, and thereby freed forever from all suffering, real or imaginary. And as we uncrucify Jesus the Christ – who represents the Omega point of our evolutionary destiny – so, too, do we release ourselves from endless cycles of unnecessary grief and pain and guilt. Pontius Pilate’s claim to fame, as recorded in the New testament, is the rhetorical question he posed during the trial of Jesus: WHAT IS TRUTH? Indeed, how do we define truth? Is it not an everchanging circumstance, always mutable? For instance, on a rainy day, it’s true to describe the streets as wet. But when the sun shines again, this condition is no longer true. Is there anything that can pass as “immutable truth”? I honestly doubt it. Perhaps we’re better off just being HONEST, rather than perpetually seeking some sort of immutable truth. At least, with honesty, one can conclude that the truth means different things to different perceptions – and all perceptions are, to a certain degree, valid.

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What we’re dealing with here is a problem of semantics. Concepts that were in vogue hundreds, or even thousands of years ago, have influenced the way we define words and apply them in our everyday language, which in turn determines how we interpret our sensory perceptions. The “rugged look” is viewed as “scruffy” by unsympathetic eyes. What’s “sexy” to one person comes across as “obscene” to another. So do we really want to commit genocide – and, ultimately, nuclear suicide - over a mere linguistic misunderstanding? Yet, that’s how bloody wars have erupted throughout history and, sadly, this continues to be the case. All I’m saying is: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE! Arthur C. Clarke, the visionary writer, once remarked that all human problems can be resolved with a little intelligence. I think it would do no harm to add a generous dash of love and genuine goodwill.

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The (Unfinished) Book of John  

Confessions of a former Christian fundamentalist

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