Amsterdam, August 11, 2014 - In the framework of the "Munsalvaesche Project - Quest for the Underground Rock Grail Temple" a small group of motivated grail researchers will embark from August 16 to 24, 2014 on a study and exploration journey from the Netherlands via Alsace, cradle of the medieval grail family, to the Arlesheim Ermitage just south of Basel, Switzerland, the site of the proposed Grail area Terre de salvaesche with as its center the Grail palace Munsalvaesche from Wolfram von Eschenbach's "Parzival".
To be conducted by Robert Jan Kelder, founder of the budding "Willehalm Order of Knights of the Word" and translator and publisher of the book "How the Grail Sites Were Found - Wolfram von Eschenbach As a Historian", the final goal of this excursion with stops in Odilienberg, Andlau, Colmar, Isteiner Klotz, and Dornach/Arlesheim, is drawn from the groundbreaking research of this book by the Swiss anthroposophist Werner Greub (1909-1997). For in his thorough research report, based on an indication by the founder of the science of the Grail or anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner (1863-1925), the location of Wolfram's Grail palace Munsalvaesche is shown to be in the Arlesheimer Ermitage, an ancient Celtic holy place and cultural landscape. Accordingly, this excursion endeavors to again draw attention to – and also to eventually confirm by archaeological research – the scientific hypothesis that on an ancient Roman quarry in this Grail area the architect Titurel in the 9th century built this wooden Grail palace with an underground rock temple. Here the Grail brotherhood would have guarded and beheld the Grail and staged Christian mystery dramas, the climax of which would have occurred, according to Greub, in 848 underneath the Star Munsalvaesche, when Parzival became king of the Grail through the spiritual guidance of Wolframs enigmatic Master Kyot the Provence, who would be none other than Willehalm from Wolframs epic poem by that name, the Frankish William of Orange, founder of the original House of Orange and patron saint of Celtic Christianity – a truly momentous albeit largely unrecognized event in the living tradition of the Mystery of Golgotha, the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, heralding a new chapter in the spiritual history of mankind ...
Or, as the hermit Trevrizent exclaimed to Parzival after the latter had just become Grail king (P. 798:1-15):
“A greater marvel never occurred, in that, after all, with your defiance you have wrung the concession from God that his everlasting Trinity has granted you your wish.”
And as Werner Greub comments:
“With these words, Trevrizent indicates the actual new impulse in history, which became possible during the triple great conjunction in the constellation of Pisces. Until then all striving for the Grail was of no use. One had to be divinely summoned by Heaven to the Grail. This changed with Parzival. Through independent thinking and conscious striving for the Grail, Parzival himself created the preconditions so that the Grail could become his own. This is an absolute novelty, the actual great miracle of the history of the Grail. That is why Trevrizent says: groezer wunder selten ie geschah. - A greater marvel never occurred.” (p. 190 of his Grail Sites book)
Detailed Introduction to and History of the Munsalvaesche Project
The following introduction to this project is a slightly enlarged adaptation of the detailed introduction written on May 28, 2009 on the occasion of the presentation in the Amstelkerk in Amsterdam of the Grail sites book by Werner Greub (the letters and articles in the original German and Dutch have been translated into English). This introduction, with arguments both forward and against, was mailed on the eve of Michaelmas, September 29, 2009 with an accompanying letter and enclosure to the management of the firm TAUW. This company published on September 5, 2006 a note under the title "Ground Tracer Reveals Soil Secrets Without Drilling" , of which the first two paragraphs went as follows:
"The Consultancy and Engineering firm Tauw is now employing ground tracer technique to more precisely locate underground objects and contaminants. After archaeological finds, Tauw at the request of the municipality of Utrecht made measurements with this new technique to obtain exact images of the remains of a Roman military bath house located on the Hoge Woerd.
Using the tracer and radar engineering excavations, old locks, landfills, foundations and archaeological remains can be quickly and efficiently identified. The great value of this is that at an early stage an informed plan for the location can be drawn without costly drilling activities Research and final data processing can be carried out quickly and efficiently. Ground Tracer research is a highly important part of a research project. Continued drilling work can thus be used very specifically. Also, a similar coupling can be made with a representative surface, so that the overall picture becomes much more reliable. The final output is better and more accurate than other non-destructive research techniques."
The accompanying letter to "The Honorable Board of TAUW", which remained as yet unanswered, read as follows:
"Following the above TAUW note from 2006, I now contact you about The Munsalvaesche Project. This archaeological project, based on the pioneering Grail Research of the Swiss anthroposophist Werner Greub in his book" William of Orange, Parzival and the Grail - Wolfram von Eschenbach as a historian" [this was the title of the Dutch version], I have introduced in the enclosure. I hope this project can count on your interest and that on that basis an even fruitful as interesting collaboration may occur, which can then lead to the Hornikopf hill in the Arlesheimer Ermitage in Switzerland finally revealing its secret: namely that on an ancient Roman quarry half way up this foothill of the Jura mountains in the 9th century once stood Wolfram von Eschenbach's Grail castle Munsalvaesche with an underground temple, as indicated in Werner Greub’s book with the help of precise typographic instructions and detailed proofs (on the displayed map of Arlesheim Ermitage on the Willehalm Institute blog the number 7 indicates the location of the Grail castle)."
The authority, which for the first time exhibited the Grail research by Werner Greub and made it public to the world at large was not, strange as it may seem, the original publisher, the Goetheanum, School of Spiritual Science in Dornach near Basel, but the local museum Trotte of the adjacent village of Arlesheim. This small museum celebrated in 1985 with a six-month-long exhibition the 200th anniversary of the once famous Arlesheim Ermitage as an Old English Garden, in which also attention was paidto the findings of Werner Greub’s research on this ancient Celtic holy place as a Grail area. This was done by an exhibition text mounted above a display case with a copy of the open book by Greub, tours of the Ermitage led by myself and an evening conversation with the author, which was repeated because of great interest. My text written for the exhibition was published on April 4, 1985 in the local weekly "Wochenblatt für das Birseck und Dorneck” with an illustration of a 18th century print of the Ermitage (see image) under the title "Arlesheim in the 9th century". The text (without the footnotes) read as follows:
"Arlesheim possesses a more than thousand year old mystery tradition. For the Celtic Druids, Ottilia and Irish-Scottish Christianity, the knights of King Arthur and the Grail, the Friends of God, Rosicrucians and Freemasons have all left their mark in the Ermitage. In his booklet "Arlesheim and Ottilia – History and Legend of a Village and its benevolent Patron Saint" (Arlesheim, 1967) the author Hermann Jülich has described this.
The designation Grail landscape for this ancient mystery tradition of Arlesheim can become a living experience, if in the company of Rudolf Steiner 1 one tries to understand under the term Holy Grail all that is associated with the Christian renewal of the mysteries of the Orient that have reemerged since the 4th century within the mysteries of the Occident.2 Then also the supposition that the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate was the one responsible for the construction of the irrigation system and the hollowing out of the rocky caves for the purpose of building a mystery center in the Ermitage gains credibility. For Julian, who around the middle of the 4th century resided for some time in his palace nearby Kaiseraugst on the Rhine, was passionate in striving everywhere to connect the pagan mysteries with a cosmic, sun-like Christianity.3
Among those conceding that the Grail events possess at least some kind of earthly reality, it is now generally accepted that the Grail Landscape Terre de Salvaesche as described by Wolfram von Eschenbach in his Parzival romance is situated in the Pyrenees (Montségur) where the essential Grail events are said to have occured in the 12th century.4 Indications attributed to Rudolf Steiner, however, point to the direction of Arlesheim and the 9th century.5 But because no conclusive documentary evidence was thought to exist, this question remained unresolved.
With the publication of Werner Greub’s work ‘How The Grail Sites Were Found – Wolfram von Eschenbach and the Reality of the Grail’ 6, however, this situation has since then changed considerably. For with this research report based on a careful comparison of the original [Middle High German] Parzival text with the geographical and topographical reality of Arlesheim and surroundings and by means of numerous philological, astronomical-astrological and religious-historical studies, Werner Greub has attempted to verify what has been handed down by Rudolf Steiner from a purely anthroposophic mode of spiritual scientific research. As such, Werner Greub has made the results of his research on the Ermitage available as a basis for discussion for those interested:
The Arlesheim Ermitage was in the 9th century the Grail landscape Terre de Salvaesche, the center stage of the Grail events that occurred during that period.
Robert J. Kelder"
The exhibition was well attended and also well received by the Swiss press (except for the Goetheanum, the organ of the General Anthroposophical Society situated in nearby Dornach, an omission which must be seen in the fact that, after publishing the first volume of Werner Greubs Grail trilogy, it withheld the other two parts, which were only published many years later after the death of the author by his son Dr. Markus Greub.) The large Daily "Tages-Anzeiger" in Zurich published a number of articles as well as the "Basler Zeitung", which on June 12, 1985 reported on the evening conversation with Werner Greub, ending as follows:
"There are no documents nor ruins substantiating the thesis that the grail history has actually occurred. Consequently, Eschenbach's poem forms the ‘missing link’. But the audience seemed convinced that Greub was right., No critical voice, just a question of whether on the Hornikopf in the back of the Ermitage, where according Greub the Grail castle Munsalvaesche was located, there are ruins are quite. ‘The rock,’[where Parzival on his path to the Grail castle had to turn right] said Greub, ‘is gone, because gypsum was mined there.’ ’The Grail castle was a wooden building with room for four hundred knights. ‘Perhaps,’ Greub suspects, ‘there are some remains left under the ruins in the quarry further down.’ One would therefore have to dig, but that requires a lot of money. That would be a case for UNESCO, which after all has funded the rescue of Abu Simbel in Egypt. Salvaging a location that is as significant as the Grail castle in Europe, would have to be possible. But Greub’s research is very controversial."
How controversial Greubs findings are, mainly from academic quarters, is shown by the following letters (with enclosures) from June 7, 1985 by Dr. J. Ewald, the then active archaeologist of the "Amt für Museen und Archäologie" of the Canton Basel Land in the town of Liestal, which he had delivered in Arlesheim, after I had, next to a request for information, also invited him to attend the evening conversation with Greub that day in Museum Trotte. Under the title Arlesheim and the "Grail" he wrote:
"You have on very short terms urgently asked about documents or inquired about our ‘Grail quest’ prompted by Mr. Greub in the summer of 1977. A newspaper article does not exist in our files.
I have made an effort to briefly survey the whole affair again including the files. Perhaps I would have even driven tonight to Arlesheim, if only to explain what archeology really is, and what people like Mr. W. Greub understand 'archaeology' to be and wreak havoc on it!
Although I myself could to some degree sympathize with some of Greub’s notions such as descriptions of Orange, Arles, etc. (just because, or even though I have studied Middle High German and earned my degree in it years ago), the ‘archaeological evidence’ of W. Greub I must vehemently reject. What one is likely to suspect, is simply declared to be late-Roman and then one searches desperately for ‘Roman stone carving' on the rock steps, which arguably are partly caused at the end of the 18th century; because the ponds behind the Ermitage not dated, they must be 'Roman', the carp ponds constructed for the Druids, which are therefore also simultaneously proved to be such.
At the time I agreed to the request by W. Greub in order not to fall prey to the common E. v Däniken judgment: archaeologists would anyway be blind and not dig where the real 'wise' and 'insiders' recommend it. We have dug and found no human artifacts. The conclusion of Greub, that this shows how good the Grail is hiding, has unfortunately nothing to do anymore with archeology and science.
From any reverent entering the site together with other believers and disciples, to whom I laboriously would have to show how and with what tools an archaeologist can work, I unfortunately do not expect anything. This has nothing to do with history and realistic considerations of finds. I must unfortunately say to you that my time for this is too precious for me.
(Is signed: J. Ewald)"
The first enclosure consisted of the description of four incisions or cuts done according to the instructions of Werner Greub on the western part of the Hornikopf below point 555.8, but which yielded nothing, hence the conclusion, "The quest for Munsalvaesche was temporarily discontinued."
The second enclosure was a topographical map showing where the four cuts were made.
Well, the now technologically obsolete soil survey of the district archaeologist J. Ewald is not decisive, because it only proves that nothing was found in the four specific cuts. The size of the Grail castle was much larger that surveyed and therefore Werner Greub may well have been right in saying that the Grail, or at least the Grail castle, "knew well how to hide itself." But from now on it should be possible, without spending too much money and effort, by means of “ground penetrating radar" and infrared spectrometry to renew the abandoned quest for the Grail castle Munsalvaesche and once and for all determine whether Werner Greub’s hypothesis is right that Wolfram von Eschenbach's Grail castle Munsalvaesche once stood on the Hornikopf.
Because, if this turns out to be true, the underground rock temple, the entrance to which, according to Wolframs "Parzival", was a steel door at the rear of the stage of the Grail palace, must still exist and therefore findable, even after a huge earthquake which occurred in that whole area in the Middle Ages.
In order to encourage this quest, which the Willehalm Institute wants to restart under the name “The Munsalvaesche Project” with the required technical means (and staff), we provide a letter by Adalbert Count von Keyserlingk, son of the Count on whose estate Koberwitz Rudolf Steiner in 1924 held his course course on biodynamic agriculture, a letter written in Stuttgart on September 5, 1985:
"Dear Mr. Kelder, and at the same time, My Dear Friend Greub,
Many thanks for your information that you sent me on April 17, 1985 regarding the exposition on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Ermitage in Arlesheim.
From my youth on, I have occupied myself with just that area, made countless walks at all times of the day and night and came back each time enriched and endowed.
The accounts by His Excellency (General) von Moltke, Emil Bock and many others, also about their conversations with Rudolf Steiner concerning the Ermitage, I experienced partly at first hand and with Mr. Grosse, my school friend, I discussed the questions concerning this Grail area intensively.
Thus I was glad when the book by Werner Greub – to begin with, as announced, the first, exoteric volume – appeared. His destiny happened to lead him as an officer of a corps of engineers just into that this stretch of land that he was interested in, with the result that after thorough research he was able to motivate his hunches and experiences. A real knowledge of the truth of this ancient Mystery place arose in him – an important event in the entire field of Grail research.
At the time that the opinions about this first volume on the reality of the Grail began to diverge, I made a point of visiting Mr. Greub. We compared our studies concerning Mystery places, established that they were completely in agreement and confirmed our mutual sympathy.
The work of the publisher, however, this I had to counter, was such that if I had been the publisher, I would have been ashamed. But this has nothing to do with the contents.
After the destructive, yet in no way professionally motivated criticism by a schoolmaster appeared, I was angry on two counts. On the one hand, it seemed to me to have less to do with the actual contents of the book than with a general subjective, different approach, and on the other hand, it maintained generalities that were not in line with the thoroughness of the work. This reminded me of my own experiences with my book Koberwitz 1924*, although a negative review of it with passages quoted out of context suddenly caused an increase in sales.
If the writer of the criticism of Greub’s book, Mr. Lindenberg, would have taken up contact with the author and would have evaluated the first volume as part of a work that included a second volume, then untruths would have been avoided in the world to make room for an objective cognitional attitude, which is more than necessary in spiritual life. One is instinctively reminded of the destiny of the Parzival story (Willehalm) that apparently is only revealed to those who are inwardly connected with the secrets of the Grail.
I convey my best wishes for your plans and am with heart-felt greetings,
Signed: A. Count Keyserlingk"
For the so-called “Day of Ideals”, which was organized by, among others, the Dutch Christian-orientated daily newspaper TROUW on October 10, 2009 at the Passenger Terminal in the port of Amsterdam, I posted the first version of this introduction to the Munsalvaesche Project on the website of TROUW and entered it along with six other idealistic endeavors, such as “The New Position of Amsterdam – A Social Organic Civilization Offensive” and “The New Kingship – A Contribution to the Modernization of the Monarchy” hoping to make them better known and win over other potential co-workers and sponsors. However, it was all in vain…Were these projects aiming too high at the time?
Perhaps this Munsalvaesche Project will now, in view of the threatening world situation and growing danger of a Third World War, no longer be overlooked. From a broader and deeper perspective, it can in the light of "The New Christianity" evoked by Rudolf Steiner namely help raise awareness of the possible salvation of mankind on earth. The following anthroposophic-christological thoughts drawn from The Gospel of John and the Fifth Gospel of Rudolf Steiner, with the help of the reference to the indicated links, can elaborate this to some extent:
With His crucifixion and resurrection, Christ became the spirit of the earth and the planet as a new sun His Body. Therewith the house-keeping of the earth i.e. the world economy has become an essential part of the task of The New Christianity characterized by Rudolf Steiner in 1924 Arnhem, Holland in the first of his three his lectures on “The Karma of the Anthroposophical Society and Content of the Anthroposophical Movement” as being the source of the inspiration in the spiritual world (in heaven) of anthroposophy (on earth).
In this light, the statement by Rudolf Steiner to Walter Johannes Stein, author of “World History in the Light of the Grail – The Ninth Century”, can be understood that the contemporary Grail impulse of our time consists in turning the current global economy based on greed and misguided by short-sighted materialistic thinking into a world economy driven by the love of mankind and the earth and guided by holistic social-organic thinking. This is the objective of the Willehalm Order of Knights of the Word, which on 28 May last filed a petition to Dutch King Willem-Alexander to supplement the Military William Order with a Civil one.
How this new economic order can be realized, this Rudolf Steiner has shown in his course on World Economy in Dornach held for students of economics in 1922, and that one of his main students, the philosopher, writer and industrialist Herbert Witzenmann (1905-1988) further elaborated, e.g. in his introduction to the World Economy course: “The Just Price – World Economy as Social Organics”. It follows from this seminal science of world economy that the whole earth, which seen from a religious point of view is the body of Christ, has become, seen from a world economic perspective, the social organism with its three production factors nature, labor and capital, a social organism that through the formation to be of a world-wide network of economic associations consisting of consumers, traders and producers could ensure that through the balance of economic values just prices are generated.
A misunderstood, unjust world economy, particularly the rising tension between the main industrial powers of Great Britain and Germany in Europe was, besides the still unresolved problem of nationalities, especially in Eastern Europe and now also in the Middle East, the main cause for the outbreak exactly 100 years ago, of the catastrophic First World War.
The possible confirmation by an archaeological soil survey of the location of the subterranean temple of the Grail palace Munsalvaesche in the Arlesheim Ermitage in Basel, Switzerland and the accompanying metamorphosis of the Grail story of Parzival from a mere legend to the historical reality of the Grail and Wolfram spokesman Kyot the Provençal as the medieval William of Orange, would be a powerful incentive to now finally take the Grail impulse of the 21st century seriously. But in the unlikely case that nothing were to be found to collaborate Greub’s hypothesis, or that even no attempt at all will be undertaken to do so, the transformation of the present world economy based on the groundwork laid down by Rudolf Steiner remains a challenging enterprise with the highest priority for all men and women of goodwill and clear thinking.
Hopefully it is not already too late to thereby banish and outcast the dark forces that are under the leadership of the “unjust prince of this world” feverishly and incessantly at work to again unleash "a war of all against all.”
For all the links, see: http://willehalminstitute.blogspot.nl/20...
For the Dutch version of this press release see:
1 In his basic book "Occult Science – An Outline" Rudolf Steiner has named anthroposophy also science of the Grail.
2 Rudolf Steiner "The Mysteries of the East and Christianity". For another approach, see Rudolf Steiner’s lecture cycle "Christ and the Spiritual World and the Search for the Holy Grail", both available from the Anthroposophic Press (USA) and the Rudolf Steiner Press in England.
3 This supposition is made by Werner Greub in his manuscript "Vom Gralschristentum zur Anthroposophie Rudolf Steiners (From Grail Christianity to Rudolf Steiner‘s Anthroposophy) which has not yet officially been published. [Update: has in the mean time been published].
4 See e.g. Otto Rahn "Kruezzug gegen den Gral" (Crusade against the Grail, Germany 1933). In "Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" by M. Baigent, R. Leigh and H. Lincoln (first published in London, 1982, Pocket ed. p.56) it is maintained without any precise reference that “Wolfram von Eschenbach, in one of his Grail romances, declares that the Grail Castle (Munsalvaesche) was situated in the Pyrenees.”
5 In her memoirs "Selbsterlebtes im Zusammensein mit Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner" (Personal experiences in the company of Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner, published in Basle, 2nd ed. 1977) Ilona Schubert writes that Rudolf Steiner designated the whole area of the Arlesheim Ermitage as Grail territory where Parzival’s meetings with Sigune and his schooling with Trevrizent had taken place. According to Rudolf Steiner there were not one but several Grail castles. A further remark by I. Schubert, however, according to which Rudolf Steiner said that “the Grail Castle where Trevrizent and Anfortas guarded the Grail was situated in northern Spain and later on at Montségur in southern France” is difficult to rhyme with the location of the Grail castle as described by Wolfram. For it is clear from the whole Parzival context that Trevrizent as well as Sigune lived in close proximity to Munsalvaesche (e.g. “a mile or more”). If one comes to regard Parzival not as a fairy-tale, but a true geographically and historically based poetic document, it follows that Wolfram’s Munsalvaesche could not have been in Spain or France, but only here in Arlesheim. See also Emil Bock "Studien zum Lebenswerk Rudolf Steiners" (Stuttgart, 1961) and Walter Johannes Stein "The Ninth Century – World History in the Light of the Holy Grail" (London, 1991).
6 Werner Greub writes in this book that he was aware from the time of his youth of the historical truth of Wolfram’s epics. During World War II he had as a Swiss army officer his command post in the Goetheanum building from where his task was to reconnoitre the whole terrain in and around the Hermitage with its many grottos and caves for defense purposes, the same area that he was later to identify as the central Grail area Terre de Salvaesche.
* "Koberwitz 1924 – Geburtstunde einer neuen Landwirtschaft", Verlag Hilfswerk Elizabeth, Stuttgart 1974. This book about the birth of a new biological-dynamic agriculture through Rudolf Steiner in 1924 contains memoirs of Adalbert’s mother, Countess Johanna von Keyserlingk, her son and other participants such as Wilhelm Rath and Rudolf Meyer. In 1968, the same publishers brought out "Gralburg" (Grail Castle) by J. von Keyserlingk which included conversations with Rudolf Steiner and epilogues by R. Meyer and A.von Keyserlingk.
also notes on the chemistry of the draco/ annunaki/ nephalim blood..
They say here http://www.psypost.org/2014/07/sleep-dep...
that if people don't get enough sleep, they can develop false memories.
I say the sleep deprived people just dream when they are awake. Micro-sleep and stuff like that, micro-dreams.
Everyone keeps asking "Why Malayasian Airliners." Well, how about this?
" In November 2011 the tribunal purportedly exercised universal jurisdiction to try in absentia former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, convicting both for crimes against peace because of what the tribunal concluded was the unlawful invasion of Iraq.
In May 2012 after hearing testimony for a week from victims of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the tribunal unanimously convicted in absentia former President Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Deputy Assistant Attorneys General John Yoo and Jay Bybee, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former counselors David Addington and William Haynes II of conspiracy to commit war crimes, specifically torture. The tribunal referred their findings to the chief prosecutor at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
In November 2013, the tribunal convicted State of Israel guilty of genocide of the Palestinian people and convicted former Israeli general Amos Yaron for crimes against humanity and genocide for his involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
A very convincing interview with someone who together with a friend had a very close Yowie encounter in Australia.
Science needs to get over itself. And by 'science', I mean those people who see science as some all-powerful entity containing all the answers; those self-proclaimed members of the 'reality-based community' keen to expurgate the threatening breeze of woo-woo bearing down upon the candle of rationality.
Because science itself is just a method, not a position...right?
This post has been brewing some time, but I finally decided to get some thoughts out of my head and on to your screen after seeing this tweet yesterday by the most excellent science journalist Alok Jha, regarding the 'Yeti DNA study' that's been making news this week:
Yetis. Sigh. S'pose nothing else interesting today. Major stem cell paper retracted, you say? Still prefer covering yetis tho? Oh.
— Alok Jha (@alokjha) July 2, 2014
It's not much, I know. But it continues a series of remarks I've seen in recent times where any stories with the sulphurous smell of the paranormal, or at the very least the strange scent emitted by the fringes of science, are seen as taking up important column space that could be devoted to more serious science. And even worse, perhaps spreading dangerous ideas.
Another example: Back in April, we posted a story about anomalous 'lights' on Mars. NBC science journalist Alan Boyle - whom we have known and loved here at TDG for many years for his fun coverage of science, both serious and strange - covered the story as well, in a blog post titled "Bright Blips on Mars Pictures Spark a Buzz Among UFO Fans". The response from some was not so enthusiastic:
— Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) April 8, 2014
My intention here is not to demonise Emily Lakdawalla or Alok Jha - I'm a big fan of their work, and others who are working in science and/or science journalism. What I am trying to point out is an increasing trend with otherwise intelligent and eloquent science lovers to decry or demean anything that even seems remotely associated with the fringes of science, such as ufology, parapsychology or cryptozoology. Not only is it supercilious, but in some cases it may not serve science so well either - for instance with the 'Mars light' story, myself and a few others pointed out there were in fact two images with anomalous lights, but we were shouted down quickly by those who cleave to Occam; the 'light' was just a cosmic ray artefact on the camera, and the two lights were just 'a coincidence that was going to happen sometime'. A day later though, and many of those same people began excitedly back-tracking, wondering whether the 'light' was actually a reflected flash from a shiny rock. In this case, by rushing to remove any hint of an anomaly, those that love science could well have ended up failing science.
But in many ways too, such a response is understandable. There is no shortage of truly crazy theories about Mars, and anything like the 'Mars light' would no doubt bring some flaky individuals out of the woodwork, claiming it as proof of an intelligent alien civilisation on the Red Planet. Even milder responses, such as suggestions that the Curiosity rover should immediately take a detour and drive over to find out what the 'light' actually was, could be rather annoying - every movement of the rover is planned carefully and must take into consideration both dangers to the vehicle, and the science it is tasked to carry out - and some of the replies to those suggestions were indeed short and sharp.
But here's the thing: responding with annoyance, anger and resentment to these stories was a major fail.
Science educators, who are you trying to reach? Scientists, who is funding your work? If the answer to either question is the general public, then the simple fact is that the weird and the strange are your friends, not your enemies.
Alan Boyle knows that. His story about the Mars 'light' was perfect. It began by pointing out an anomaly, a curiosity, something that any normal reader would respond to with "whoah, a strange light on Mars...what the hell is that?" He then guided the reader into the science of Mars research by pointing out the likely rational explanation. Instant win for science-lovers: educating people as well as bringing focus to what is an amazing scientific endeavour, the robotic exploration of another planet.
Rather than quickly trotting out the first rational 'explain-away' they could come up with, both NASA and others could have used this story as a springboard for so much more. Thousands, maybe millions of people's eyeballs are upon you, do you know how much some people pay for that? "We think the light might just be a camera artifact, but we sure are open to other ideas! It's difficult for us drive the rover in that direction on short notice, but if we get the chance you can be sure we'll be checking out this folks. Keep a close eye on the next round of images we'll be releasing on our website and let us know if you see anything else". There, it's not that hard is it?
Another example: I have always wondered about what damage SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) did to their cause by strongly aligning themselves with the pseudo-skeptical group CSICOP around a decade ago. Two of the organisation's most public faces openly derided the UFO phenomenon, and those interested in it, in blog postings and interview appearances. This seems insane to me...there is vast interest in the general public on this topic, a perfect 'way in' for SETI to use to attract interest in their projects and/or raise funding, and instead they took a dump on their own dinner plate. Most of those truly interested in the UFO topic ended up seeing SETI as the opposition. Fail.
Another factor contributing to the issue is that for those intimately involved in science, the minutiae are important. Those things that might seem boring to others are important. But, members of the reality-based community, here's the reality of the situation: Joe Public out there is coming home from a long day of (often mindless) work, looking for a combination of entertainment and education in the one or two hours they might have to spare before going to bed and then wading through the same shit all over again. Would you like to listen to a bricklayer bemoaning the lack of understanding in the general public about the finer points of a good mortar? That's what you sound like folks. People's time is valuable, and they don't want to spend it hearing you whining about how everyone else doesn't invest enough time in what you find valuable.
So get out of your echo chamber, stop being so stodgy and pretentious about what you do, and entertain the punters while you educate them! Bring out your Bigfoot, kick-start your UFO, do what you need to get the story across and have some goddamn fun while you do it! And you know what, in the process, you might even find that some of those weird anomalies you're using to educate people have some interesting science to them as well and could be worth a closer look...
More and more I suspect that consciousness is far more complex, rich, and all pervasive than we can even conceive of. My feelings currently, lead me to say that not only is consciousness a part of everything, but that it functions on more levels and connects in more ways than we can process. We see such a small sliver of our existence. We see a very limited view, and we see it through our little bubble of self-awareness and ego. That is how we interact with this wonderful world, though. We need that ego, that sense of identity here to have this experience. I do believe it is not unlike playing a computer game. Our higher self, or whatever you want to call it, is the player, outside the computer, and in order to access the game we need an interface, which is the computer, or our brain, that allows us to live in cyberspace. The closer to virtual reality we get, the more accurate this description may be. I am not saying I think we are living in the matrix or a computer simulation, although I by no means rule it out. I am just using it as an analogy. The character you play in the game has limited information compared to what you do. Maybe, if we could construct a game where the character learns and your part is to guide it to what it needs to know and learn in order to get where it needs to go, that may be the best analogy to who we are here. Some players are good, some are not. Some can communicate to their character in ways that make it very clear to it what way to go. Synchronicities, signs, omens. Other players are asleep at the wheel, or just really bad at getting through to their characters. They become the materialists. The closed minded. And maybe that is part of the game, variations are needed to progress the world.
I look at the research being done on children who can recall past lives, and it seems that many of them died violent deaths. The same is said of haunted locales. The ghosts are the ones who died a violent death. Is there something about dying suddenly or violently that loses an ending process the rest go through? If you die in your sleep, peacefully, is there a transition that takes us back to that higher self? Maybe when you die violently, you stick around, you want to play again, so you haunt if you were really attached here, or you just want to reset and try again. These are not beliefs on my part, just some idle speculation. Maybe the reason some children remember past lives is because they didn’t process things properly because of the way they died. I can hold a decent amount of doubt about hypnotically regressed past lives. Hypnosis is unreliable, and once you’ve lived more than a few years, you really don’t know what information you have been exposed to subconsciously. Our brains seem to work as a filter as much as anything else. Takes in 100%, shows you .0001%. Shows you what is important or what fits your belief system. It’s a tool; you have to train it otherwise by breaking patterns and habits. Then it shows you more. Then you start to see the shadows, not just the light. Children, though, there are some very good cases where there is no way the child could have reasonably known what they know, especially at such young ages. Even training from parents can’t explain it, if they were attempting a hoax. These kids seem to be recalling very specific, detailed information. They seem to show genuine emotion about the events they recall. And sometimes those past lives have been found and information verified. It takes one, just one, to be genuine. I think we have far more than that. Which then begs for an explanation. I honestly can think of only a few possibilities. One, and most likely, is that it was their past life. I think Occam’s Razor points there. It simply is what it seems to be. It may also be, that consciousness, working like an all-encompassing field, allows one to access it and focus in on one specific part. Maybe that is what happens, these kids, not yet trained in the ways of this world, focus in on a life, recorded in that field, and attach themselves to it. I think this is less likely, and I am hard pressed to come up with any other good possibilities. We can’t dismiss them, well you can, but that would not be intellectually honest. If even one is genuine, that is all you need. I think there are plenty of genuine cases. Maybe it’s that computer user communicating information about their past character In the game, intentionally or not.
I heard someone say on Coast to Coast a couple months ago, that consciousness is just in the brain, we know this, the science is finished on it. Really? Well, there is a headline, when exactly did science PROVE, beyond any doubt or further possible study, that consciousness is just in the brain? Right, never. I think the first key to knowing someone has an agenda or dogma present, has to be when one says, the science is finished. By its nature, that is never true. There is always more to learn. It’s been said many times in the past, Charles Fort used to make fun of that claim back in the early 1900’s when, I believe, The Royal Academy of Sciences said science was complete. I could be wrong about the institution, it’s been a while since I’ve read his books. They said this, while still saying that rocks couldn’t fall from the sky. I think that anytime someone says the science is complete, they automatically lose credibility. You hear it in debates about evolution, about global warming, about consciousness. I think that, if anything, cutting edge science is actually proving that consciousness is NOT just in the brain. Taking an honest look at scientific studies of PSI, they statistically prove that it exists. Debunkers, with no knowledge of statistics, and an agenda, claim they are unimpressive. They are not. They are solid science that consciousness can access data from outside in ways that are not understood. One of the most common points I hear made is this, if you get knocked out, you’re out. When you regain consciousness, you realize you didn’t continue to exist while knocked out. Well now, sounds reasonable. Proves nothing, especially when you realize that you have many dreams every night, yet remember very few, some remember none. Does that mean they were not there? No. If you character gets knocked out in the game, your higher consciousness is unaffected, your user is still there, but unable to influence the character in the game. The same with brain damage. This is also cited as proof that consciousness is in the brain and only in the brain. But again, if your computer has issues, or your game character has some damage, it doesn’t affect the user. Your higher self is still intact. In another way of looking at it, you drive your car. If the car blows a break line and you can’t stop it, does that prove that the driver is the car? It makes as much sense as saying that brain damage proves that consciousness is a side effect of the brain. Neither thing is proof. The brain is more likely an interface, not a generator of consciousness. It is the vehicle we use.
Let’s take it a step further. When we look at paranormal phenomena, let’s say UFO’s, we see that they somewhat conform to our expectations. Kenneth Arnold saw flying V shaped craft. Boomerang like. The press called them Flying Saucers. Later, actual saucers were seen. Does that mean these sightings were false, or, are people seeing something that has no definitive form to us? We put it on the phenomena. Monster sightings may be more of the same. Something is there, and until it has a form, descriptions may vary, but the more that see it, the more it defines itself, using our conscious expectations. People are certainly seeing something in the skies, on the ground, and elsewhere, that defy easy explanation. Sure, there are misidentifications, and hoaxes, and such, but there are simply too many strange encounters by reputable people, sometimes with a level of evidence as well, to dismiss them all. And what about that evidence? It never lives up to what it is expected to be. That pancake from the flying saucer? All normal ingredients, although rather unpleasant to taste for some reason. A hoaxer would have tried to make it exotic, not simple and bad tasting. These things may be an intrusion into our reality of something that needs our conscious expectations to give it form that we can interact with. We may see a flying saucer or bigfoot, but what is really there is much stranger to us, so much so we can’t see it’s actual form with our limited senses and perception.
To take this even further, all of reality may function like this. In the last few decades the idea that if you want something enough you can cause it to happen with a sort of magical wish fulfillment is likely complete nonsense, but on a deeper level, we may draw to us what we need. As individuals, families, towns, etc. Consciousness may bring out that which needs to happen, which may occasionally be what we want to happen. It’s kind of like saying, if you want your wish to come true, make the right wish. Our users, out there beyond the game, may be able to control the environment we are in. And maybe there are users above them, and they are consciousness of the group, the family, town, planet, etc. Go deep enough, and maybe you can interact with them, make some requests, have a subtle amount of influence. Work some Magick. Isn’t that what most Magick and ritual is all about in the end? Affecting the unseen. Tweaking the hidden structure. Accessing the deep consciousness that pervades everything. It’s rich and complex, and we can’t understand it. Our brains are very limited devices. Eventually we’ll get an upgrade. Maybe as a reward for a certain level of success here. World peace, for real, and everyone get booted up level and we have all new challenges. Doesn’t look very hopeful right now if that is the case. I think it’s important to watch for those hints from our Higher Selves. I find life gets much easier the more you can see. Is that an illusion? I doubt it, but even if it is, the result is positive, so why change it? There’s no real way to know. If it works for you, use it! It’s a matter of faith. Not religious faith, not belief in a deity or dogma, but faith that if you listen, the universe will guide you. Subtly but effectively. We are made of consciousness. It’s in everything, everywhere. This can’t be proven, but to some of us, it is very hard to not see.
"Perhaps Deshere is giving us a glimpse into one of the most intriguing aspects of all of the Mirage Men's elusive tricks: They did not have to perfect the brainchildren born in the labs of mad scientists – or necessarily even get the ideas to work at all – as much as lead the world to believe so. A preferred mind control technique may have been to lead a subject to believe his handlers possessed effective mind control techniques."
(This article interests me because I see this same kind of "it is futile to resist" meming being propagated in the orgonite community by certain of it's higher profile participants. It happens often enough and blatantly enough that I have come to suspect it is some sort of psyop. When I publicly question the assumption that "they can control our minds" a peculiarly testy backlash occurs as if I have upset not just someone's mindset but have interrupted an agenda. It is highly likely that intelligence assets have coopted the orgonite community for spreading certain ideas agreeable to the general message of fear and futility that is part and parcel of modern media/intelligence activities.)
well, nobody much outside of Italy will weep about Italia. But I do have
to say, that Uruguay was the hungrier team.
And hey, nothing wrong with eating Italian.