Monday, September 15, 2014

Ambrose and Theodosius

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

At the death of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I (AD 347 - 394), the formal panegyric was given by Ambrose, the Archbishop of Milan (AD 340 - 397), and amidst all the eulogy's praise of the departed emperor, Ambrose makes reference to the penitence of Theodosius, weaving this incident quite effortlessly and eloquently into a very beautiful metaphor within a larger theme of humanity's need for mercy and therefore the need to be merciful and forgiving to one another.

The reference itself refers to an incident that took place in AD 390, in which citizens of the region of Thessalonika revolted, apparently in anger at the presence of Gothic soldiers in the service of the empire stationed in their midst.  It is worth pointing out that the stationing of military forces among the citizenry is one of the hallmarks of tyrannical states, and the use of foreign-born troops to do it is another pattern in history, as they are less likely to feel an affinity with or sympathy for the local populace. 

Note that both of these specific grievances were part of those listed by the authors and signatories of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 against the King of Great Britain to support their argument that he showed "a history of repeated injuries and usurpations" with the "direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States":
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States [. . .]
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

We don't have a similar statement from the Thessalonikans who revolted, but we can image that they were similarly outraged by the behavior of the foreign "mercenaries" stationed among them by the Empire (these happened to be Goths), and the impunity with which those mercenaries were allowed to behave and the violations of natural law which they perpetrated -- hence the revolt.

Contemporary historians of the time tell us that Theodosius reacted to their revolt by authorizing the Goth commander to slaughter a stadium full of the Thessalonikans, cutting down innocent and guilty alike, as if they were stalks of wheat at harvest time.

Ambrose apparently criticized Theodosius for this ruthless slaughter, barring the emperor from entering church or taking communion for several months, and ordering him to do penance for several months before he could enter again and receive the host (the painting above, from around 1620 or 1621, depicts Ambrose on the right as we look at it, wearing a gold mitre on his head and gold-and-blue robes, barring the entrance to the Milan Cathedral from the hopeful but disappointed Theodosius, who is on the left as we look at the painting, wearing the royal purple, which looks more like what we would probably call crimson today).

Ambrose makes reference to this penance of the emperor in the official panegyric, which can be read in an English translation online here (beginning on page 307 of that 1953 text, which is actually page 335 of the "e-text" linked, since the e-text includes some front matter in its page count that comes before the pagination count began in the 1953 print book itself).  There, on page 319 in the original book's pagination, or page 347 in the e-text reader linked above, Ambrose says of Theodosius:
And so because Theodosius, the emperor, showed himself humble and, when sin had stolen upon him, asked for pardon, his soul has turned to its rest, as Scripture has it, saying 'Turn my soul unto thy rest, for the Lord hath been bountiful unto thee.'
The scriptural reference is to Psalm 116:7. The paragraph itself is numbered 28 in the text of Ambrose's speech.

Let's just pause to note that this is actually a fairly astonishing situation. The absolute ruler of the entire Roman Empire, Theodosius I, who is basically the supreme authority and seemingly answers to no one, is apparently being refused entrance to the Mass by the Archbishop of Milan (it is important to know that Milan, located in northern Italy, was then the western seat of the empire, after Constantine earlier moved the center of political power east to Constantinople, a fact which plays a part in the theory discussed below). Not only that, but the emperor is being ordered to repent, humble himself, and do penance by the Archbishop, and the emperor does so for several months before being reinstated to the privilege of taking communion. 

The fact that this incident is mentioned in the official eulogy of the emperor by Ambrose is a pretty good indication that it actually happened: if it did not, there would have been plenty of people who could have said so at the time. And so, we can see here an indication that the emperor himself was answerable to the most powerful bishops in some matters, who were obviously seen as representatives of an even higher power.

We might also note that the relatives of those several thousands who were slaughtered in Thessalonika were probably not particularly satisfied at this evidence of the accountability of Theodosius for his war crime -- a few months of being barred from taking communion, and all was forgiven.

In fact, this incident -- and the larger significance of the reign of Theodosius and his actions as emperor -- along with other important pieces of evidence preserved in that eulogy written by Ambrose, provides remarkable support for the revolutionary theory presented by Flavio Barbiero in The Secret Society of Moses: The Mosaic Bloodline and a Conspiracy Spanning Three Millennia (2010). In the analysis of Flavio Barbiero, the hierarchical Christianity that Ambrose represented was part of an incredible conspiracy to take over the Roman Empire from the inside, launched centuries earlier by survivors of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the Roman campaign to suppress revolt in Judea, led by the generals Vespasian and his son Titus in AD 67 - 70 (the main years of the First Jewish-Roman War). 

According to Barbiero's analysis, and backed up by a compelling chain of evidence, the culminating actions of that three-hundred-year-long conspiracy took place with the installation of Constantine as emperor in AD 312, and the finishing touches on the victory were overseen by the ruthless Theodosius I, who became emperor in AD 392. For more details on this theory of ancient history, which I believe to be very convincing, see previous posts such as this one and this one, as well as this online explanation of some important aspects of the theory that Flavio Barbiero wrote for the Graham Hancock website, and of course see his book itself, which is filled with historical detail and a complete blow-by-blow of the entire takeover and its aftermath. 

You may also wish to see The Undying Stars, in which I discuss this theory in the context of the evidence that the ancient history of the human race is far different from what we have been taught -- that there is evidence of advanced scientific, technological, spiritual, and shamanic knowledge in humanity's ancient past, at least some of which endured in "the West" right up until the takeover that Barbiero talks about, but which was deliberately and systematically stamped out in the West after this literalistic hierarchical Christian takeover -- a suppression which may have continued in the following centuries and even right up to this day! (Note that my incorporation of his theory into my own analysis should not be interpreted as an indication that Flavio Barbiero supports any of my analysis in any way). 

The actions taken by Theodosius during his reign can be seen as powerful confirmation of the theory of Flavio Barbiero, many of which are discussed in Barbiero's book. The relationship between Ambrose and Theodosius can also be seen as confirmation of the larger pattern Barbiero describes.

Some of the metaphors and anecdotes used by Ambrose in the panegyric at the death of the emperor, I believe, can additionally be seen as startling confirmation of my placement of the revolutionary theory of Flavio Barbiero within the larger context of the deliberate subversion of the ancient esoteric system that connects the scriptures that became the Old and New Testaments with the ancient wisdom of the rest of the world's cultures -- with an especially close tie to the expression of the ancient wisdom in Egypt. These additional metaphors and anecdotes from the eulogy delivered by Ambrose are not part of Flavio Barbiero's analysis.

According to the theory of Flavio Barbiero, the reason that the generals who put down the rebellion in Judea in AD 67 to 70 were able to become emperors and found the Flavian dynasty (first Vespasian and then his son Titus upon the death of Vespasian) was the financial assistance they received from a vanquished leader of the rebels, who gave them access to the vast hidden treasures of the Temple of Jerusalem itself. This leader and those he selected to come with him were spared from the summary execution that Vespasian and Titus meted out to most of the rebel leaders, and brought back to Rome to enjoy privileged status for the rest of their lives.

Barbiero finds evidence that these leaders, who possessed deep experience running a religious system, decided to set about building a "spiritual Temple" to replace the one that had been burned down by the Romans, and to use it to advance their fortunes in their new setting. They succeeded to a degree that is absolutely astonishing.

Using the twin devices of literalist Christianity (the public and open religious system which they co-opted upon or shortly following their arrival in Rome) and the secret society of Sol Invictus Mithras (the secret and exclusive underground society which they created and operated behind the scenes), they created a mechanism for passing on their vision and accomplishing their goals many generations after the original group which had been brought from Judea to Rome passed from the scene.

The secret society of Mithraism became influential in the Praetorian Guard, then among the imperial bureaucracy, the important imperial checkpoints over commerce such as the customs service, and finally and most importantly over the officers of the Roman Army stationed in various provinces and along the far-flung frontiers of the empire. 

All the while, the leaders of the Mithraic system operated in utmost secrecy, protected by strict oaths of secrecy sworn to by all those invited into the society. The old aristocratic families of the empire perceived that something was going on that was a major threat to their control, but they never identified the real nerve center of that threat -- instead, they concentrated on the public face of the two-pronged attack, which was the fledgling literalist Christian religion. Safe from persecution, the leaders of the Mithraic conspiracy could maneuver their pieces on the political chessboard with steady and unwavering focus over the years.

One of their first major victories was the accession to the throne of the murderous Commodus, who reigned from AD 177 to 192, and whom Flavio Barbiero believes to have been the first emperor to have actually been an initiate into the Mithraic society (more discussion of the significance of Commodus, and some of the evidence to support this conclusion, is found in this previous post). 

There were many significant setbacks after the reign of Commodus, but in general the interruptions (usually by generals who stormed into power with the support of their legions, only in most cases to be quickly assassinated by members of the Praetorian Guard or other agents of the secret society) were fairly brief (albeit violent and tumultuous), and a new emperor whom they controlled would eventually be maneuvered into the throne by the society of Sol Invictus. Each time, the network's grip over the levers of power increased, and it looked as though their careful campaign was succeeding famously.

This pattern was seriously disrupted in AD 284, upon the accession to the throne of Diocletian (who was born in AD 244 and died in AD 311), who was in fact an initiate of the cult of Mithras. However, Diocletian instituted a cunning (if unwieldy) strategy to ensure that he did not end up being eliminated by the secret society behind the throne if he crossed their will (as had happened to so many of his predecessors). He created what has come to be referred to as "the Tetrarchy," splitting up power with an ally, Marcus Aurelius Maximian, and determining that each of the two co-emperors (Diocletian and Maximian) would name a "caesar" who would be the successor to each when they decided to retire, and who would have certain authority and powers even before that time. 

It was a terribly way to run things (just imagine a major corporation with four CEOs at the same time, or even two CEOs plus two "sub-CEOs" with nearly as much power as the CEOs), but by dividing the empire up this way and having it run by an alliance of four, it helped to ensure that the secret society of Sol Invictus Mithras could not bring in a new power-hungry general from another part of the empire to overthrow the existing emperor when he did something they didn't like, as had happened so many times before.

According to Flavio Barbiero, this was the turning point which determined a change in the strategy by the "power behind the throne" -- from now on, they would rule through the public mechanism that they had created, literalist Christianity, instead of the secret society of Mithras.

And that is why, after a violent power struggle that ensued after Diocletian and Maximian left office, the emperor who took control decided to proclaim openly that he was now a Christian, and that Christianity would henceforth be officially tolerated in the empire. That emperor was Constantine I, who ruled from AD 312 until his death in AD 337.

One of the important moves which Constantine made, and one which adds credence to this theory of Flavio Barbiero, was his decision to move the seat of the emperor to Constantinople and out of Rome. The "power behind the throne" (which had been hidden in the society of Mithras, and which was now identical with the upper reaches of the hierarchy of the Christian church) could thus operate out of Rome without interference from the emperor or from pesky usurpers marching in from other parts of the empire to try to seize the throne. 

However, Constantine did not declare Christianity to be the sole religion of the Roman Empire: far from it. His reign was only the first decisive move in the "endgame" of this centuries-long chess-match for control of the Roman world. The "checkmate" would come during the reign of Theodosius I, who was born about ten years after the end of Constantine's reign and who came to power in AD 392. It was Theodosius who administered what Flavio Barbiero calls "the fatal blow to paganism and what little still remained of the ancient Roman senatorial aristocracy" of the Roman Empire (216).

Theodosius ordered in AD 380 that all Christians must profess their faith in the bishop of Rome, thus outlawing alternative dogmas besides the one promulgated by the hierarchical structure controlled by the descendants of those long-ago transplants from Judea. 

He outlawed paganism outright in AD 392, decreeing the death penalty for anyone practicing augury or some of the other practices of the traditional Roman pagan rites. 

He closed the ancient Oracle at Delphi in AD 390, and ended the Eleusinian Mysteries in AD 392, as well as (according to some scholars) the Olympic games after that same year. 

Prior to his death, Theodosius issued decrees that the rule would be split between his two sons (who were quite young at the time of his death), one ruling in the east and the other in the west. It was a decision that would eventually lead to the breakup of the empire: Theodosius I was the last to rule a united empire, and eventually the trappings of the western empire would evaporate completely, and western Europe would be run by a variety of different kings and nobles and -- exercising tremendous control over their actions -- the hierarchy of the Christian religion centered in Rome.

In light of this theory, we can see that Ambrose and Theodosius were actually close allies in the final execution of a long-reaching plan. We can also see that Ambrose, as a high-ranking member of the hierarchy that represented the "power behind the throne" was actually in some ways the superior of the emperor himself -- and his ability to impose sanctions on Theodosius may be an indication of exactly that.

All of the actions above from the life of Theodosius certainly can be interpreted as strong supporting evidence for Flavio Barbiero's theory (among many other pieces of supporting evidence from the preceding centuries, which are recounted in detail in Flavio Barbiero's book).

But there is another incredible piece of evidence hidden in the speech of Ambrose given at the death of Theodosius which also tends to confirm this revolutionary alternative view of Roman history, and to tie it into the larger theory that I expound (and which, as I said, is not part of Flavio Barbiero's theory and should not be taken as an assertion that he supports this wider theory).

In The Undying Stars, and in many of the blog posts including this one containing an index of links to over fifty such myths from around the world, I argue that virtually all of the world's sacred traditions and scriptures appear to be based upon a common esoteric system of sophisticated celestial metaphor. 

As I explain in this previous post entitled "The Cobra Kai sucker-punch (and why we keep falling for it, over and over and over)," I believe that these esoteric ancient myths are actually designed to convey a worldview which is best described as shamanic (and in fact, as what I would call "shamanic-holographic"). This worldview included the belief in an unseen world which actually contains the "source code" for this ordinary, material world which is in fact only a projection of the "real world that is behind this one." 

It also included techniques for making contact with and actually traveling to that unseen realm, in order to gain information or make changes to the "source code" there, which could have tremendous impact on events back here in "the ordinary world." 

If my theory is correct, then the high-ranking priests who escaped the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the wars of Judea during the time of Vespasian and Titus may well have understood that worldview, and may even have known how to use that knowledge to help them in their plans. They created a literalist, hierarchical religion which suppressed this shamanic ancient knowledge, but they themselves may have known the esoteric secrets and continued to pass them down within their inner circle.

In the eloquent speech of the Archbishop Ambrose given at the death of his fellow-worker Theodosius the emperor, I believe we can see amazing confirmation of this possibility.

In paragraph 40 of his speech (just one paragraph after Ambrose has invoked a literalist vision of heaven and declared that Theodosius and his predecessor Gratian are both enjoying everlasting light and the company of all the saints, as well as a literalist vision of hell and declared that Theodosius' enemies "Maximus and Eugenius are in hell" to "teach by their wicked example how wicked it is for men to take up arms against their princes," thus showing how useful these literalist interpretations are for supporting the divine right of the ruler), Ambrose takes up the example of Constantine's mother Helena, whom he introduces as "great Helena of holy memory, who was inspired by the Spirit of God" (found on page 325 of the original pagination of the 1953 text linked above). 

Specifically, Ambrose at this part of his panegyric, tells us that once Constantine had killed the last of his enemies and become the sole emperor (Ambrose puts it more tactfully, saying that she was "solicitous for her son to whom the sovereignty of the Roman world had fallen," as if Constantine was just innocently eating lunch one day and the rule of the entire empire happened to fall into his lap), Helena "hastened to Jerusalem and explored the scene of the Lord's Passion" to see if she could find any relics from the Crucifixion with which to aid her son in his new job (paragraph 41, on page 325 of the original pagination of the 1953 text linked above).

As Ambrose explains, it turns out that she did find "three fork-shaped gibbets thrown together, covered by debris and hidden by the Enemy [that is to say, by the Devil, whom she addresses rhetorically in the preceding paragraph, declaring that she will find proof of the resurrection in spite of the Devil's attempts to conceal it]" (paragraph 45, on page 327 of the original pagination of the 1953 text linked above).

One of these "fork-shaped gibbets," Ambrose tells us, was "the Cross of salvation," which Helena was able to recognize by the fact that "on the middle gibbet a title had been displayed, 'Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews'" (paragraph 45, on page 327 of the original pagination). In paragraph 47 Ambrose tells us in addition that:
She sought the nails with which the Lord was crucified, and found them. From one nail she ordered a bridle to be made, from the other she wove a diadem. page 328 of the original text linked above.
Ambrose, who displays the allegorical virtuosity for which he is noted by historians, then expounds further upon this decision to make one nail into a crown and the other into a bridle:
On the head, a crown; in the hands, reins. A crown made from the Cross, that faith might shine forth; reins likewise from the Cross, that authority might govern, and that there might be just rule, not unjust legislation. May the princes also consider that this has been granted to them by Christ's generosity, that in imitation of the Lord it may be said of the Roman emperor: 'Thou has set on his head a crown of precious stones.'
[. . .]
But I ask: Why was the holy relic upon the bridle if not to curb the insolence of emperors, to check the wantonness of tyrants, who as horses neigh after lust that they may be allowed to commit adultery unpunished? What infamy do we not find in the Neros, the Caligulas, and the rest, for whom there was nothing holy upon the bridle?
What else, then, did Helena accomplish by her desire to guide the reins than to seem to say to all emperors through the Holy Spirit: 'Do not become like the horse and mule,' and with the bridle and bit to restrain the jaws of those who did not realize that they were kings to rule those subject to them? Paragraphs 48 - 51, pages 328 - 330 in the original pagination of the 1953 text.
Now, this is truly remarkable, to anyone who understands the ancient system of celestial allegory -- as Ambrose here indicates that he thoroughly and masterfully did.

We have discussed in a series of previous posts, beginning with "Scarab, Ankh, and Djed," that the Cross of the New Testament clearly parallels the "Djed-column raised up," which also closely parallels the sacrifice of Odin upon the World-Tree, and the Vajra-Thunderbolt of the Vedas, and many other important images around the world. 

All of those posts discuss the fact that this sacred symbol of profound significance is also closely connected to the "vertical pillar" of the zodiac wheel, which runs from the winter solstice at the "bottom of the year" straight up to the summer solstice at the "top of the year" (for more on that "pillar" see this year's summer solstice post).

Ambrose has just told us that, upon finding the True Cross, Helena the mother of Constantine took two of the original nails, and made one into a crown and the other into a bridle. The choice to incorporate one nail into a crown is pretty obvious for the "top of the column," which represents both the dome of heaven and also the "dome of heaven" at the top of each human being, the head (microcosm and macrocosm). But how could the other nail's incorporation into a horse-bridle have anything to do with the bottom of the zodiac-Djed-column? 

Have a looking at the zodiac wheel below and see if there are any zodiac signs at the bottom which could help explain this choice:

If you said Sagittarius (who at the bottom of the wheel just before winter solstice, peeking out below and partially obscured by the yellow label that says "The Djed raised up"), then I would agree. Sagittarius is an archer, but he is also a horseman (often a centaur). He is indicated in many myths within the system of celestial metaphor by "horse" imagery. It is almost a certainty that Ambrose is indicating an understanding of this ancient system, with this story about Helena and the discovery of the Djed-column / True Cross, and the fashioning of one nail into a crown for the head, and of the other into a bridle for a horse. 

But we don't actually have to guess about whether or not Ambrose understood this esoteric system: he provides breath-taking confirmation of the fact in paragraph 46, when he declares:
She discovered, then, the title. She adored the King, not the wood, indeed, because this is an error of the Gentiles and a vanity of the wicked. But she adored Him who hung on the tree, whose name was inscribed in the title; Him, I say, who, as a scarabaeus, cried out to His Father to forgive the sins of His persecutors. 327 - 328 of the original pagination.
What was that metaphor? It is certainly not one which, I would venture to say, most modern Christians are accustomed to hearing their preachers use regarding Christ upon the Cross. But it is one which, the footnote tells us, Ambrose used quite a lot. It is the metaphor of Christ on the Cross as a scarab!

And here we see that Ambrose undoubtedly understood the ancient system of celestial metaphor, and what is more that he understood it to the degree that he could employ metaphors common to ancient Egypt when referring to the top of the Djed-pillar! We have seen, in more than one of the previous posts linked above, that the scarab beetle with its upraised arms was connected directly to the sign of Cancer the Crab (at the top of the zodiac wheel, beginning at the point of summer solstice). 

The scarab was also esoterically connected to the crown of the skull, as shown in the image below which can be found in previous posts on this subject as well:

This should suffice to explain why the first nail was made into a crown, while the other went into a bridle -- one is connected to the sign of Cancer and the other to the sign of Sagittarius, two signs at either end of the Djed-column or the "solstice pillar," of which the True Cross is yet another manifestation (and which, we might add, is a central image in many shamanic rituals around the globe).

This deep familiarity with these symbols by Ambrose should also suffice to convince most readers that Ambrose knew full well that there was no physical Cross or nails to be found -- any more than one could "find" the vertical pillar that connects the winter and summer solstices and fashion some kind of crown or bridle out of it (he almost certainly would also have known that both "heaven" and "hell" were zodiac metaphors and not literal eternal destinations for the departed soul). But it should demonstrate conclusively that he was a master of the ancient esoteric system of celestial metaphor -- and that we can assume this knowledge had been passed down to him from his predecessors stretching back through the centuries, no doubt to generations long before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Together, Ambrose and Theodosius offer powerful evidence which supports the revolutionary alternative theory published by Flavio Barbiero. 

Additionally, pieces of evidence such as the silencing of the Oracle at Delphi and the Mysteries of Eleusis by Theodosius, as well as the clear hints Ambrose drops indicating his masterful understanding of the esoteric system, provide powerful confirmation of the wider theory that this ancient successful conspiracy to take over the Roman Empire was also part of something far bigger: a conspiracy to smash the ancient shamanic-holographic wisdom bequeathed to humanity, and to keep it within a small group who could then use it to "rule the school" (in the "Cobra Kai metaphor") while giving everyone else a literalistic interpretation which they themselves knew to be false.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"The real world that is behind this one"

Whether or not they were deliberately intended to do so, movies and other forms of storytelling often portray concepts or imaginary scenarios which can serve as useful metaphors to illustrate or to convey an understanding of profound concepts, concepts which might be difficult to explain or even to grasp without using metaphors or allegories.

It doesn't even really matter if the writers or moviemakers were originally intending to create a metaphor that can help to explain some deep truth about the nature of our universe and our place within it: we should actually expect that, if the universe really operates in such-and-such a way, then artists and writers and creators of stories should and will end up portraying analogies pointing to those realities, whether they do so knowingly or not.

A case in point is the recent movie Divergent, which is based upon a series of popular books with the same name, which I have not read and in which I am not extraordinarily interested at this time -- but (as I have mentioned before here), which do contain what strikes me as a very helpful metaphor for illustrating some aspects of the shamanic worldview. 

Regardless of your personal reaction to this recent movie (and it seems to provoke strong positive and negative reactions among different groups of viewers, as well as "strong indifference" among some who express exhaustion at the number of films that seem to be coming out in the "teen-plus-dystopia" category), it is worth considering the way the film embodies a powerful metaphor for understanding what some theoretical physicists have called our "holographic universe."

Assuming that most readers who have not yet seen the film probably fall into the "indifferent" category, no blaring "spoiler alerts" will be issued (but such an alert would come right about here, if there were one).

Without going into too much detail, the film posits a vaguely post-apocalyptic dystopian future world in which young adults are tested for their talents and predilections, after which they choose a "faction" in which they will contribute to the economy or society for the rest of their life. However, some small percentage of the population are "divergent" and have set of skills and traits that cross many categories and who have another talent which is the part which relates to the helpful metaphor regarding the shamanic worldview. 

The special talent which the divergents possess (that relates to the shamanic worldview) and which the majority of the populace portrayed in the film do not seem to exhibit is this: when they are injected with mind-altering drugs to make them enter a simulated world and react to different life-threatening scenarios within the simulation, a divergent is able to perceive that it is all a simulation, and then to bend the boundaries of the simulation in order to transcend the life-threatening situation in unexpected and seemingly-impossible ways.

The short clip from the film, shown above, illustrates one scene from the film in which the main character demonstrates this singular talent of the divergent.

And here is where the film becomes an excellent metaphor to help us to grasp the concept of the "shamanic worldview" or the "holographic universe" (concepts which can be shown to be closely related in important ways, and which I sometimes combine to create the description "shamanic-holographic"). 

Because according to many accounts from shamanic cultures around the world, the ordinary world in which we spend most of our waking hours is actually very much like the "simulations" to which the characters in the Divergent movie are forcibly subjected: in many important ways, it is projected and constructed out of our own mind, to the point that it takes on a kind of reality, but a reality that is actually subordinate to the deeper reality from which the simulation-world is being projected. 

The reality that is the source of the simulation (or the hallucination, or the dream) is the unseen realm -- unseen, but just as real as the ordinary realm in which we normally move, and in fact perhaps more real in certain ways. Because the "simulation" realm which we generally think of as the "real world" is projected from the other realm, that hidden reality is sometimes referred to as the "seed world" or the "seed realm."

In his book Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts, discussed in the previous post, Dr. Jeremy Naydler describes the ancient Egyptian concept of the other realm, sometimes associated with a specific celestial conceptual paradigm called the Duat or the Dwat, in terms which very much resonate with this understanding of the totality of the seen and unseen aspects of reality:
The Egyptians were intensely aware that the world they lived in was more than just the world perceptible to the senses. It included a vast and complex supersensible component as well.
It would be a mistake, then, to regard the Dwat as simply the realm of the dead. It is the habitation of spirits, of beings that are capable of existing nonphysically. These include the essential spiritual energy or life energy of those beings and creatures that we see around us in the physical world. In the Dwat, everything is reduced to its spiritual kernel. Just as the forms of living plants, when they die, disappear from the visible world as they are received into the Dwat, so when the young plants unfold their forms again in the new year, they unfold them from out of the Dwat. This "hidden realm" (literally amentet, another term for the realm of the dead) is the originating source of all that comes into being in the visible world.
[. . .] In the Dwat, then, the essential forms of things exist inwardly in a more interior space -- a space that is prior to the external space into which they will unfold when they enter the world of physical manifestation. As for plants, so also for animals. Even the river Nile has its source in the Dwat. 83-84.
In a wonderful book I recently received entitled Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation, containing observations and experiences and teaching and insights from experienced shamanic practitioners and teachers and healers, including the book's co-authors Sandra Ingerman and  Hank Wesselman, as well as contributors Tom Cowan, Carol Proudfood-Edgar, Jose Luis Stevens, and Alberto Villoldo, there are many passages which attest to a similar understanding that the world of our "ordinary experience" is actually a projection of the unseen realm. 

During one important passage, in which Hank Wesselman is describing a series of spontaneous dreamlike visions he experienced at the age of thirty while on a scientific research expedition in the East African Rift in southwestern Ethiopia. Explaining that he was reluctant to discuss them with his fellow scientists from western countries, who might be less than receptive to such ideas, he turned to some of the African tribal men with whom he had become friends over the years of work in the field, and when he did so, he "discovered that they held a perspective that was quite foreign to my scientist's way of thinking about the world" (xvi):
Right at the core of their worldview lay the perception that the multi-leveled field of the dream is the real world, that we human beings are actually dreaming twenty-four hours a day, and that the everyday physical world came into being in response to the dream, not vice versa. These assertions were always accompanied by a conviction, strongly held, that the dream world is minded, that it is consciousness itself -- alive, intelligent, and power-filled -- infusing everything that emanates from it with awareness, vitality, and life force. xvii.
This worldview, it must be noted, is strikingly harmonious to the worldview of the ancient Egyptians as described by Dr. Naydler in the passage cited above.

And, as shamanic practitioner and teacher Michael Drake points out in one of the numerous insightful pages on his website, there are statements attesting to the same understanding from shamanic peoples halfway around the world, in North America, citing a passage from the Lakota wichasha wakon or holy man Black Elk (1863 - 1950) who had experienced his first vision unbidden at the age of nine, and who stated that the unseen realm was actually "the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world."

That particular passage from Black Elk that he cites is an extremely insightful quotation that speaks directly to the concept that we are exploring, and it is also helpful to examine it in the context of what Black Elk is describing when he makes that particular statement -- which happens to be the vision of his second cousin, Crazy Horse, which was discussed in this previous post.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

Black Elk was actually contemporaries with Crazy Horse -- Black Elk was born in December of 1863, and thus was 12 years of age and going on 13 during the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in which Black Elk participated. Black Elk later held extended conversations with John G. Neihardt (1881 - 1973) during the years 1930 and 1931, which were published as Black Elk Speaks. Here is how Black Elk described the vision of Crazy Horse:
Crazy Horse's father was my father's cousin, and there were no chiefs in our family before Crazy Horse; but there were holy men; and he became a chief because of the power he got in a vision when he was a boy. When I was a man, my father told me something about that vision. Of course he did not know all of it; but he said that Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world. He was on his horse in that world, and the horse and himself on it and the trees and the grass and the stones and everything were made of spirit, and nothing was hard, and everything seemed to float. His horse was standing still there, and yet it danced around like a horse made only of shadow, and that is how he got his name, which does not mean that his horse was crazy or wild, but that in his vision it danced around in that queer way.
It was this vision that gave him his great power, for when he went into a fight, he had only to think of that world to be in it again, so that he could go through anything and not be hurt. Until he was murdered by the Wasichus at the Soldiers' Town on White River, he was wounded only twice, once by accident and both times by some one of his own people when he was not expecting trouble and was not thinking; never by an enemy. [. . .]
[. . .] He never wanted to have many things for himself, and did not have many ponies like a chief. They say that when game was scarce and the people were hungry, he would not eat at all. He was a queer man. Maybe he was always part way into that world of his vision. He was a very great man, and I think if the Wasichus had not murdered him down there, maybe we should still have the Black Hills and be happy. They could not have killed him in battle. They had to lie to him and murder him. And he was only about thirty years old when he died. 
This passage is absolutely incredible in the amount of profound wisdom that it imparts. We should  each consider it carefully and thoughtfully, for there are many insights we can gain from thinking deeply about these words.

In light of the specific subject at hand, however, it offers some astonishing confirmation of everything we have seen from other shamanic cultures from far away and even from thousands of years ago. We see that this ordinary realm was seen to be less real in some ways than the unseen realm, which is actually the real one, and everything in our ordinary world is actually only a shadow of that one. That is to say, in some ways this world is an illusion, a dream -- and Crazy Horse seems to have been able to transcend the boundary between these worlds at will, and when doing so was unable to be harmed by weapons in this seemingly solid "ordinary realm."

And this point brings us back to the metaphor from the movie Divergent, because it is by remembering and realizing that she is in a simulation, a projection, an illusion or a dream that the protagonist Tris is able to transcend the seemingly-solid boundaries and barriers that exist in the simulation (and that other non-divergent characters cannot transcend when they are inside the simulation). 

In other words, the world of the simulation in Divergent is a metaphor for this world that we seem to be living in, and the characters who are born with the unsought talent of transcending those barriers, and of perceiving when they are inside an illusion and that "this isn't real" are like the shamans who are able to transcend the boundaries of this world, and who have told us in no uncertain terms that this world is actually a projection of the unseen world, and that this one is actually in some ways a dream (modern theoretical physicists have proposed models that use the metaphor of a hologram). 

As Hank Wesselman describes it, "we human beings are actually dreaming twenty-four hours a day." In terms of the metaphor, we are inside an induced simulation, and (like the non-divergent characters in the film), we normally cannot perceive that it is a simulation, and we treat it as though it is the only reality, when in fact there is a more real world "behind it" that is actually the source of this "twenty-four hour dream."

Some readers might be thinking by this point, "Does this mean, or do you intend to say, that this world is not real, and so I cannot be hurt if I walk in front of a truck driving down the freeway? Because if you are saying that, you're crazy and I'm not listening anymore."

No -- obviously that cannot be the message that Black Elk and the others are telling us. Black Elk specifically says that Crazy Horse was murdered, and he was murdered by ordinary physical weapons in this ordinary reality to which our consciousness is usually attuned. The world and everything in it may well be composed of waves of energy which our minds interpret as various objects and surfaces, and physicists will affirm that this is indeed the case -- but any surfer will tell you that waves need to be respected, and that they will spin you around like you're in a washing machine if you pick a fight with one or (worse yet) pretend that they aren't real. 

But it does mean that, if reality is actually interpenetrated by an unseen realm, one from which this ordinary realm is in some way projected, then we need to be aware of and respectful of that other realm. It also means that, if contact with and even travel to that other realm are in fact possible, we may be able to obtain information from that other realm, or even to obtain power from that other realm as Crazy Horse did and which he used on behalf of his people -- and that changes effected in that other realm (which after all is the source of everything in the ordinary realm) can have real and meaningful changes on events and conditions in this ordinary realm.

It also means (or at least it has consistently been interpreted to mean, in cultures holding this worldview, as discussed at some length in my book The Undying Stars) that we do not have to fear the destruction of our material body in this realm, as our consciousness is not ultimately dependent upon this material realm, as taught by the ideology of materialism.

To return one more time to the metaphor with which we began this examination, it is also evident that the ability to perceive that this reality is not the only reality, and to be able to project back to that "source reality" can potentially get us out of a bad situation (as shown in the clip above). Certainly, Black Elk testifies that this was true in the case of Crazy Horse's life. And contemporary shamanic practitioners and teachers today, including those who share their experience and understanding in Awakening to the Spirit World, also attest that the ability to transcend this reality can be used to help get us out of bad situations in today's world as well. 

These situations do not need to be horrible traps such as the one depicted in the film clip above, or even battle scenes such as those that Crazy Horse faced during his lifetime -- they may have to do with other situations we are struggling with individually, or bad situations that we face on a larger scale such as a societal or even a planetary scale.

Finally, Divergent offers a noteworthy metaphor in that those who have this "divergent" ability to "see through the simulation" and transcend the barriers that the oppressive rulers of the dystopia wish to impose on everyone (including the barriers that divide people up into mutually-distrustful "factions") are seen as extremely threatening to the oppressors, and are eliminated at all times whenever they are detected. There is abundant evidence throughout history, especially in "the West" during the past seventeen centuries or more, that this attitude has very often been the prevailing policy towards those who teach some version of the shamanic worldview -- and that shamanic cultures and teachers have frequently been eliminated whenever and wherever they have been detected down through the years.

And yet, as I noted at the end of the previous post as well, this information cannot be suppressed forever -- it tends to surface in unexpected ways, even after many years of lying dormant (just like a seed, in fact).

To that end, metaphors that can help explain and illustrate this vitally important subject (a subject which, admittedly, is one that our "left-brain" minds tend to reject immediately when it is first proposed), are extremely important. The Divergent metaphor of the "simulation-projection" and its ability to be transcended by those like Tris who are able to see through it thus becomes an excellent way to explain this concept, and to get the idea past our "left-brain gatekeeper" to where we can say, "Oh yeah, I could see how that would work." 

And that's a very good thing, because the evidence seems to suggest that this in fact is exactly the way reality is indeed structured.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The shamanic journey described in the Pyramid Texts

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The previous post, entitled "The Cobra Kai sucker-punch (and why we keep falling for it, over and over and over)," presented the argument that the ancient wisdom encoded in all the world's sacred mythologies taught that this universe contains both the apparently material and ordinary reality with which we are all familiar, and an unseen realm which is actually the "seed realm" from which the apparently material and ordinary reality is projected, much like a hologram is projected from the holographic film.

Using an analogy from the original Karate Kid film (1984), that post argued that the ability to tap into that unseen realm, and even to journey there in order to bring back information or to effect changes which impact the ordinary realm, is analogous to a form of "karate" or "kung fu" that was secretly taught within the esoteric myths of the world's sacred traditions (just like the karate that Daniel-San learns in the movie was "hidden" inside of ordinary-looking motions such as "wax the car" or "paint the fence"). 

The post then argued that this ancient knowledge of travel to the other realm was deliberately stamped out in "the West" by a group that wanted to keep the system of "karate" to themselves (although it did survive in other parts of the world for many centuries, including in the shamanic cultures found in parts of the globe that the Roman Empire and the later Western European nations descended from the Western Empire did not conquer).

One extremely important body of evidence which supports the above interpretation of world history can be found in the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt. The Pyramid Texts are found inscribed within pyramids left by the kings and queens at the end of the Fifth Dynasty and into the Sixth Dynasty (in the pyramid of the final Fifth Dynasty King, Unas, who reigned from 2375 BC to 2345 BC) and those of his successors in the Sixth Dynasty (Teti, Pepi I, Merenre, and Pepi II and Pepi II's wives Neith, Ipwet, and Oudjebten), probably ending in 2184 BC.

These texts are in fact the oldest known examples of extended writing (longer than brief prayers or simple tomb inscriptions) from the human race.

As discussed in previous posts (including this one and this one) and at length in The Undying Stars book, Egyptian scholar Dr. Jeremy Naydler has presented thorough arguments which demonstrate that these pyramids -- and the texts that they contain -- were not primarily funerary structures (as they are almost universally taught to be) but rather sacred enclosures in which the king as part of his Sed Festival rites would lie inside a stone sarcophagus and undergo a shamanic out-of-body journey to the other realm on behalf of the entire kingdom. His book is entitled Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts: The Mystical Tradition of Ancient Egypt.

Below is an image from within the sarcophagus chamber of the Pyramid of Unas:

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

This thesis, if correct, has profound significance for humanity. First, it would demonstrate that the very oldest extended scriptures that we currently possess are shamanic in nature. Second, it would demonstrate that "Western civilization" possesses a shamanic heritage, despite later efforts to suppress the shamanic worldview in "the West." And third, it raises the possibility that the incredible accomplishments of ancient Egypt were aided in some way by deliberate, regularly-scheduled trips to the unseen realm. There are many other implications as well, of course, but these three are some very significant ramifications of the assertion that the Pyramid Texts contain clear evidence of shamanic travel.

The Pyramid Texts as they are arranged in the Unas Pyramid can be viewed in their entirety online at this excellent website, The Pyramid Texts Online. They can be quite daunting at first, but if examined in conjunction with the helpful "guide" of Jeremy Naydler's book (linked above), the process of becoming more familiar with their contents can be greatly facilitated.

Below are just a few selected "utterances" from the Pyramid Texts which provide very clear support to the assertion that these texts were used in conjunction with deliberate shamanic travel by the king. All selections can be found in the Pyramid Texts Online site. At the end I will provide a brief commentary, but really these texts speak for themselves.


Utterance 253
275: To say the words:
"He is purified, who has purified himself in the Fields of Rushes.
Re has purified himself in the Fields of Rushes.
He is purified, who has purified himself in the Fields of Rushes.
This Unas has purified himself in the Fields of Rushes.
The hand of Unas is in the hand of Re.
Nut, take his hand!
Shu, lift him up! Shu, lift him up!"

Utterance 302
458: To say the words:
"Serene is the sky, Soped lives, for it is Unas indeed who is the living [star], the son of Sothis.
The Two Enneads have purified [themselves] for him as Meskhetiu [Great Bear], the Imperishable Stars.
The House of Unas which is in the sky will not perish,
the throne of Unas which is on earth will not be destroyed.

459: The humans hide themselves, the gods fly up,
Sothis has let Unas fly towards Heaven amongst his brothers the gods.
Nut the Great has uncovered her arms for Unas.

[. . .]
461: He [Unas] ascends towards heaven near you, Re,
while his face [is like that of] hawks, his wings [are like those] of apd-geese,
his talons the fangs of He-of-the-Dju-ef-nome.

463: Upuaut has let Unas fly to heaven amongst his brothers, the gods.
Unas has moved his arms like a smn-goose, he has beaten his wings like a kite.
He flies up, he who flies up, O men!
Unas flies up away from you!"

Utterance 304
468: To say the words:
"Hail to you, daughter of Anubis, she who stands at the windows of the sky,
you friend of Thoth, she who stands at the two side rails of the ladder!
Open the way for Unas that he may pass!

Utterance 305
472: To say the words:
"The ladder is tied together by Re before Osiris.
The ladder is tied together by Horus before his father Osiris, when he goes to his soul.
One of them is on this side,
one of them is on that side,
while Unas is between them.

473: Are you then a god whose places are pure?
[I] come from a pure place!
Stand [here] Unas, says Horus.
Sit [here] Unas, says Seth.
Take this arm, says Re.

474: The spirit belongs to heaven, the body to earth.
[. . .]

Utterance 247
259: Unas there! O Unas, see!
Unas there! O Unas, look!
Unas there! O Unas, hear!
Unas there! O Unas, be there!
Unas there! O Unas, arise on your side!
Do as I order, [you] who hate sleep, you who are tired!
Get up, you who are in Nedit!
Your fine bread is made in Buto.
Receive your power in Heliopolis!


The texts were selected to indicate aspects of the shamanic journey -- aspects which are common to the methods of embarking upon shamanic journeying taught today by shamanic teachers and practitioners, many of whom learned their techniques from shamanic teachers from traditional shamanic cultures in places as widely dispersed as Mongolia, Siberia, North America, South America, or Australia.

The selections above begin with Utterance 253, in which an actual spoken formula is recited. One can almost hear the "singsong tone" that might have been used, based upon the repetition of certain phrases, and based upon the common "chant-tone" which has survived in many widely-separated cultures on our planet to this very day, and which was remarked upon and illustrated in videos that can be found within this previous post.

Note that in the final lines of the utterance, the speaker is describing Unas as taking the hand of the god Re (or Ra) and the goddess Nut, and of being "raised up" by the god Shu (whose upraised arms are described in this previous post). It is difficult to deny that this sounds very much like the start of a shamanic journey (those familiar with modern techniques and teachings of shamanic travel may have personal experience to draw upon to support this connection, and Dr. Naydler provides plenty of more academic evidence which also supports the same conclusion about this and other texts).

In the next utterances cited, Unas is described as flying up to the region of the sky in which dwell the Imperishable Stars (also known as the Undying Stars). He is also described as transforming into a bird, or taking on the features of a bird, which is a common shamanic motif (one of the most common and widespread, in fact -- see discussions here, here and here). Elsewhere in the Pyramid Texts, Unas is described on his journey as transforming into a falcon, a hawk, a powerful bull, a crocodile, a serpent, and other animals, and as taking on aspects of various gods and goddesses. These are all elements which can be present in shamanic travel.

In Utterance 304, the Pyramid Texts describe the daughter of Anubis, who stands "at the windows of the sky." Dr. Naydler points out:
In the text, the word for "opening" or "window" is peter, which as a verb means "to see," implying some kind of aperture in the sky that opens onto the spirit realm. Shamanic accounts of passing through such apertures relate that they open for just an instant, and only the initiate is able to go through them into the Otherworld. 272.
Travel through such an "opening" or "window" is a very common feature of shamanic accounts, as well as of the accounts given by those who have undergone Near-Death Experiences (some of which are discussed in previous posts such as this one, this one, and this one). 

It is also intriguing to wonder if the name of the New Testament apostle Peter, who is given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, might not be related to this Egyptian concept of the "window" through which one can see the Otherworld, as Dr. Naydler says. Of course, we are told in the New Testament that the name comes from the word for "rock" (Latin petrus), and this certainly seems likely, but the connection to the Egyptian word, in the name of the apostle who is traditionally described as "guarding the gates," is most remarkable (the celestial or zodiacal reason that Peter is the one who guards the gates to the kingdom of heaven is discussed in this previous post).

In any case, it is difficult to deny that this "window of the sky" has strong analogs in shamanic travel. 

Next comes Utterance 305, in which Unas is described as climbing what Naydler describes as "the celestial ladder," a concept he relates to the Djed pillar -- one of the most important symbols of ancient Egyptian myth, and one that we have seen has undeniable connections to the shamanic worldview (see for instance this previous post). 

Previous posts including that one (and others linked in that post) demonstrate that the Djed symbology embodies both the "earthly" situation of the individual in his or her incarnate state (the "Djed cast down") and also the "heavenly" component in each man or woman, which he or she must remember, recognize, and seek to elevate during this earthly sojourn (the "Djed raised up"). In light of that fact, it is most significant that this same utterance that talks about the "heavenly ladder" also includes the line at 474 which declares "the spirit belongs to heaven, the body to earth." 

Dr. Naydler presents analysis to argue that both Utterance 305 and the following Utterance 306 teach "a linking of heaven and earth" (274), a concept which we recently saw to be embodied in the ancient symbol of the vesica piscis (as well as in the widespread symbol of the Cross).

The final selection cited above is Utterance 247 (note that these numbers are not necessarily in chronological order: the order that the walls of each pyramid should be read is debated among scholars, and the texts themselves do not always appear in the same order in different pyramids or in later writings or inscriptions). There, we see what could be interpreted as a very obvious "call to return" from the shamanic state of ecstasy. 

This is indeed how Dr. Naydler interprets these lines, and the repetition of commands for Unas to come back to his body, to see, to hear, to "be there," to turn onto his side -- all suggest that the priests who have been in attendance, and who probably assisted in the king's achieving the state of shamanic trance (using whichever of the many known techniques for achieving travel to the unseen realm -- or perhaps a technique that is now unknown), are calling Unas back from his voyage.

These descriptions of what appears to be a deliberate journey to the seed realm, the realm of the gods, are incredible, and their importance to our understanding of human history cannot be over-emphasized.

There is abundant evidence from around the world that such journeys to the unseen realm can and do create real impact on the ordinary realm. If so, then we can begin to understand why certain people would want to take away this knowledge from the rest of humanity, and keep it all to themselves.

But the evidence of what was once known cannot be suppressed forever. It is there, in plain sight, in the oldest scriptures left anywhere on the planet. It is also preserved in the other sacred traditions of the world's cultures, including the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the myths of the ancient Greeks and the Norse, and nearly everywhere else around the globe. These texts are waiting there patiently for us to recognize them for what they are.  

If you are in the habit of contacting the other realm, perhaps you will find ways to employ some of these ancient aspects of what may well be the oldest extended description of shamanic travel known to humanity.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Cobra Kai sucker-punch (and why we keep falling for it, over and over and over)

So, I have now spoken about the "Wax on, wax off" metaphor a few times in various interviews, explaining that I think it is an excellent analogy for the concept of "the esoteric," by which deeper meanings are "hidden" underneath the surface appearances, both to "hide" the deeper information from those who would perhaps misuse it but also and more importantly to actually convey or transmit the deeper meaning in a way that speaks to the "intelligence of the heart" and bypasses the often counter-productive "over-thinking" of the left-brain or the "intelligence of the head."

In the metaphor from the original Karate Kid (1984), Mr. Miyagi used an esoteric method to convey a level of knowing to Daniel-San that went far beyond anything he could have imparted by simply "explaining" the concepts to Daniel-San's "head-intelligence." In terms of the movie, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel-San to "wax the car" or "paint the fence," and the "surface meaning" was the use of those motions to actually wax a car or paint a fence -- but the deeper, esoteric meaning of those motions was to do karate

To relate this metaphor from the movie to what I argue has actually taken place in real life in the history of "Western civilization," I believe there was an ancient body of knowledge ("the karate") that was conveyed through a series of special stories, the ancient myths (in the movie, the motions of waxing the car or painting the fence). 

This ancient wisdom was intended for the benefit of humanity, and for the increase in individual consciousness, and it was not just some "navel-gazing hippy-dippy" impractical-for-the-real-world knowledge either: it was an actual system of kung fu or karate, so to speak, through which powerful things could be accomplished that could not be accomplished any other way.

Then, at a specific point in history which we can actually narrow down to real calendar years, a certain "Cobra Kai" school decided that they wanted to use that karate knowledge for their own selfish purposes, and they set out to tell the world that all the myths had a literal interpretation only, and that anyone who was caught teaching that they had an esoteric meaning had to be denounced and strictly punished. In other words, anyone caught teaching that the ancient myths meant anything more than the literal, surface teachings (useful for waxing the car or painting the fence) would be severely punished (sometimes executed in horrible ways, including burning at the stake) and his or her teachings denounced as rankest heresy (if written down, efforts would be made to gather up these writings and burn them as well).

As we might expect, the leaders of the Cobra Kai school themselves knew what the myths were really about (that is, doing karate) and they wanted to keep that karate knowledge all to themselves. That way, you see, it was so much easier to dominate in any situation: they knew karate, and their opponents didn't.

In fact, they didn't even really need to know karate at the deepest levels, because they were almost always using it against opponents who knew nothing about karate or kung fu themselves. The Cobra Kai school could basically get away with using the same basic moves, over and over again, to win bar-fight after bar-fight, simply going from one bar to the next and using their favorite techniques, and the ignorant locals (who may have been both brave and strong and willing to put up their dukes) really didn't stand a chance.

In the scene above, we see Daniel-San (before Mr. Miyagi has decided to teach him the secrets of his family style of karate-do) being set upon by members of the Cobra Kai school, led by the ruthless Johnny. They are, appropriately enough, dressed in black hooded outfits with skeletal outlines of human bones on them (some of them also wear hoods, and their faces are painted to look like skulls). Daniel-San really doesn't stand much of a chance at all of stopping their well-practiced moves.

Pay particular attention to the image at approximately 0:43 in the above video. That's where Johnny delivers the first, telling fist-strike to Danny's gut, after drawing his attention by getting all up in his face. Danny never sees it coming, doubles over in pain, and the fight is basically over from that point on: Johnny can deliver big kicks with impunity against his listless opponent.

The scene is illustrated below, with labels to explain the metaphor:

So, what is this system of "karate" that the Cobra Kai kept for themselves and want to keep from everybody else? 

Well, it's what those sacred myths from around the world are teaching, underneath all of their literal stories about twelve Olympian gods or twelve disciples or nine nights hanging on the World-Tree. Those myths are incredibly important, in just the same way that the motions of "wax on, wax off" and "paint the fence" were incredibly important (notice that Mr. Miyagi insisted that "wax on, wax off" and all the other motions be done in precisely the correct way). 

But their real power is in their underlying esoteric message, which teaches that this universe is composed of the projected, apparently material ordinary reality in which we spend most of our waking hours, as well as an underlying "seed realm" or "unseen realm" of non-ordinary reality, which co-exists with and interpenetrates the ordinary realm. The ability to tap into that unseen realm, and even to journey there in order to bring back information or to effect changes which impact the ordinary realm, is the secret "kung fu" that keeps getting used against the majority of the people on this planet, who don't even know it exists (and who have been taught either to laugh at such notions, or call them dangerously heretical, or evil, etc).

The ability to tap into that realm, and even to travel to it, is not "evil" any more than karate or kung fu are "evil" -- they can certainly be used for evil (as the Cobra Kai demonstrate in the movie), but they can also be used to stop violence and oppression and to protect the people (as Mr. Miyagi demonstrates and endeavors to teach).

If you've ever wondered why the people who are pulling the karate moves on the world like to employ "occult symbolism" (including skeletal imagery, as illustrated in the movie scene shown, as well as many other symbols from the zodiac wheel and the metaphors that accompany it in ancient myth, especially the metaphors having to do with the lower half of the zodiac wheel, symbolizing hell and the underworld), this is why. They are employing the suppressed kung fu of the ancients, which is really an integrated system intended for humanity's benefit, but they are deliberately selecting the darker symbology.

This symbology is often employed in conjunction with their favorite sucker-punches, which can all be seen being employed by the groups which effected this takeover during the early dynasties of the Roman imperial period, and include assassinations (see this previous post entitled "Commodus and Marcus Aurelius"), the employment of proxy armies (such as the "barbarian" armies employed during the later centuries of the Roman Empire, up to and following the split into the Western and Eastern Empires), the employment of two different sides which are apparently bitter rivals but are actually being controlled by those at the top in order to accomplish a pre-planned outcome (such as the apparent rivalry between early literalist Christianity and the so-called "cult" of Sol Invictus Mithras), and a few other patterns which can be seen playing out over and over again down through history, just like Johnny's sucker-punch that does the trick time and time again.

We seem to fall for the sucker-punch every few years. It's as if the ordinary townspeople just never learn, and refuse to look into the possibility that someone is using karate against them. 

The good news, however, is that once these moves are revealed for what they are, they are in fact very easy to recognize. Once enough people see them for what they are, the people may not be as easy to fool, or to lead into a trap. Much of what is being done over and over actually relies on deception and the creation of false narratives -- and depends upon large numbers of people buying into those false narratives (standing there waiting to get hit in the gut, so to speak). As Mr. Miyagi demonstrates, it's best to keep one's guard up when dealing with a group that has demonstrated its willingness to employ such "underhanded" tactics.

The other good news is that, if the above outline is at all close to the truth, this is really a battle not on the "physical plane" but on the plane of truth vs. deception, of consciousness vs. imposed ignorance, and of natural-law rights vs. mind control. It takes place on the level of the spiritual more than anywhere else. In fact, as earlier posts have discussed, violations of natural universal law are only countenanced and tolerated by most normally-functioning, ethical men and women (which I believe describes the vast majority of humanity) when they convince themselves (or allow themselves to be convinced) that such violations are somehow not violations of natural law. They need some false narrative to assuage their conscience and to rationalize their support of criminal violations of the rights of others, or to temporarily short-circuit their innate sense of justice and get them into a fighting frenzy.

We can actually see this taking place in the Karate Kid clip above, in which the Cobra Kai character "Bobby" tries to call Johnny and the others off after Danny has clearly "had enough," and then Johnny quotes the "mind control" dogmas he and the others have been taught at the Cobra Kai dojo, in order to quash this innate voice of right and wrong and replace it with rigid dictums. (Message to members of Cobra Kai, like Bobby, who have mistakenly been participating in and enabling their bad actions: stop following Johnny! He doesn't care at all about you, except insofar as you enable his goals!)

It is high time for the people to start waking up and stop being the punching bag for the same sucker-punch over and over again. That process starts with information, which is why the rise of alternative platforms where challenges to the official narrative can be aired and examined is such an important development (and so important to support, as discussed here). 

The other important part of the picture is the recognition that there is, in fact, an unseen realm, a fact which is largely ignored (and, as mentioned above, ridiculed) by the majority of the population or at least by those who try to control the flow of opinion and information and who represent the voice of academia and Science and conventional respectable opinion), but which can and almost certainly must be part of the solution, by re-connecting with the positive aspects of humanity's common shamanic heritage (as opposed to the primarily negative aspects that are being employed by a small number of people who wish to oppress and bully everyone else).