Showing posts with label alien abductions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alien abductions. Show all posts

07 July 2016

Two Can Keep A Secret...

"Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead." - proverb
Fireworks by Samericnick on Wikipedia
But don't count on it.  Even if one of them is dead, then the living person is STILL going to have to go blab to somebody.  A rock, if nothing else.  And sometimes a secret is just too darned hard to keep. For example, for the last month, I've been keeping the great deep dark secret of a surprise 70th birthday party for my husband, Allan, which was pulled off by Michael and Reina (bless you, guys!).  During this month, I have almost blown the whole damn secret at least five times, because someone unexpected said yes! or because the whole place is being cleaned up (!) or because Allan was wondering what we ought to do for his birthday.  Or the Fourth.  Which is the same thing.  Given more time, I would have cracked. Someone would have cracked.  Whew.  Thank God we made it...

This is why I don't believe in conspiracy theories that require absolute total silence on the part of everyone involved.  At least not without death threats that will actually be carried out.  (I understand the Mafia has managed to pull this off at times.)  This means that anything involving aliens, fake moon landings, "false flag" shootings/bombings/etc., Batboy, the Illuminati, UN internment camps, Jesus as a psychedelic mushroom, and any end of the world scenarios involving secret knowledge passed down ancient astronauts / gods (especially aquatic aliens who teach humanity how to grow land crops) are all off the table, at least as far as I'm concerned.

And especially in this day and age.  I grew up in a world where we all knew that J. Edgar Hoover KNEW ALL, Nixon had an enemies list (Hunter S. Thompson, upon finding out that he wasn't on it, said, "Next time, I'll BE there."), and the FBI was everywhere.  And that was before the Patriot Act and the NSA.  (BTW, if you're Instagramming your food in between selfie-ing your every breath, and letting everyone know your constant whereabouts on Facebook, don't tell me you're worried about your privacy.)  Privacy?  Secrets? Don't make me laugh.

On the other hand, the ancient world was pretty good at it.

Back in the ancient world, the Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation and religious rites that lasted over two thousand years - from at least 1500 BCE to 396 CE. And no one still knows exactly what happened at them. The initiates were sworn to secrecy, and they apparently kept it.  (For one thing - I told you! - the penalty for revealing the mysteries was death, and people really were executed:  In the 5th century BCE a man named Diagoras "the atheist" had to flee for his life for revealing too much of the mysteries.)  Little hints got out here and there, but not a lot.  Not the big stuff.

Ninnion Tablet, Wikipedia,
copyright by Marsyas
We have no idea how many people were initiates, but everyone who was anyone was, including Socrates, Plato, Xenophon, Pisistratus, etc.  We also know that the mysteries centered around the worship of Demeter, the Goddess of Harvest and Agriculture, and Persephone, Demeter's daughter by Zeus, who was stolen by the Hades, the God of Death.  In Greek mythology, that theft/rape brought winter and death to the world as a whole:  but the Eleusinian Mysteries defied death and brought new life to the world.  According to Joshua K. Mark (Eleusinian Mysteries) "The mysteries celebrated the story of Demeter and Persephone but, as the initiated were sworn to secrecy on pain of death as to the details of the ritual, we do not know what form this celebration took. We do know, though, that those who participated in the mysteries were forever changed for the better and that they no longer feared death."

Plato (4th century BCE) wrote, "our mysteries had a very real meaning: he that has been purified and initiated shall dwell with the gods" (69:d, F.J. Church trans).
BTW, Plato was the first who argued that everyone had an immortal soul.  In case no one ever told you, a great deal of Christian theology about the soul and the afterlife is actually based on Plato, especially Phaedo.  In the same way, many of our ideas about true love are based on Plato's Symposium.  If you haven't read either before, check them out sometime.  
Cicero the Roman wrote around the mid-1st century BCE, "Nothing is higher than these mysteries...they have not only shown us how to live joyfully but they have taught us how to die with a better hope."

And Plutarch, writing around 100 CE, said "because of those sacred and faithful promises given in the mysteries...we hold it firmly for an undoubted truth that our soul is incorruptible and immortal. Let us behave ourselves accordingly... When a man dies he is like those who are initiated into the mysteries. Our whole life is a journey by tortuous ways without outlet. At the moment of qutting it come terrors, shuddering fear, amazement. Then a light that moves to meet you, pure meadows that receive you, songs and dances and holy apparitions" (Hamilton, 179).

Demeter receiving an offering from
Metanira, Queen of Eleusis
So what did they actually do in these mysteries?  Well, we really don't know.  Do not be fooled by websites who claim to have the truth:  THEY DON'T.

What we do know is that there were the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater Mysteries.  The Lesser Mysteries took place around the January or February full moon and involved purification and sacrifice.

After that, the initiate was deemed worthy to attend the Greater Mysteries in September/ October (again, depending on the moon).  The ten days of ritual began publicly:  a procession from the Athenian cemetery (no symbology there...) to Eleusis, complete with branches, chanting, and, at one point, ritual dirty jokes because (according to the original myth) an old woman named Baubo [or Iambe, and don't ask me why] cracked jokes and made Demeter smile even with her daughter in Hades.

Then came an all-night vigil, where everyone drank a certain potion - kykeon - that may or may not have contained psychotropic herbs.  Then into the Great Hall, where the Mysteries were unfolded. After that, we don't know.  There were dromena ("things done"), deiknumena ("things shown"), and legomena ("things said").  But what were those things?  There was a sacred casket.  There was a "triune" wheat sheaf.  There was a presentation.  Everything revolved around the Demeter/ Persephone/ Hades myth, which basically revolved around the changing seasons. But that's really all we know.  The secrets were kept.  Seriously.

Afterwards - one hell of an all-night feast, with dancing, merriment, undoubtedly more alcohol, perhaps more potions, a bull sacrifice, and some time the next day an exhausted, satisfied, perhaps hung-over but happy crew, revitalized and resworn, went home.

For two thousand years, this ritual was reenacted and the secret was kept.  We could probably learn something from that.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Allan was totally surprised at his birthday party, and a great time was had by all!  Whew.

24 April 2014

The Dark Side of the Moon

by Eve Fisher

There's something about great change that brings out the dark side in people.  The worst time to be a witch wasn't in the so-called Dark Ages, or even the Middle Ages.  The worst time to be a witch was from 1400-1700, i.e., during the Renaissance, Reformation, and the first Scientific Revolution.  It was as if all that new knowledge, new ideas, new applications, new procedures, new stuff, scared everyone so much that they had to run out and kill some people just to prove that everything was the way it always had been, world without end, Amen.

Anyway, during that time over 100,000 people were prosecuted all over Europe and colonial America, and 60,000 were executed, most of them women.  (The exception was Iceland where, for some reason, the majority were men.)  Why women?

File:Malleus.jpg(1) Misogyny.  Women were looked down on, especially by the authors of the 1486 "Malleus Maleficarum" ("The Hammer of the Witches), who were two Dominican monks who were obviously scared to death of women, but had never met any (some of the physical details are anatomically impossible).  Anyway, they accused witches of infanticide, cannibalism, evil spells, sexual misconduct of every kind imaginable, as well as having the power to steal penises.  (I can't help but think of Pat Robertson on feminism:  "a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."  Maybe reincarnation is real.)

(2) Fear.  Women were the midwives and the healers.  Male doctors could only be found where the money was, in royal courts, big cities, noble palaces.  Everywhere else, women did the job.  So, if anything went wrong, you could blame it on witchcraft:  I mean, these women could heal you with their weird potions and incantations, so obviously they could also harm you with their weird potions and incantations.  It had to be witchcraft, right?

(3) Ageism.  Many of the supposed witches were old women. Old women have always gotten terrible press, and still do. Women are supposed to stay young and beautiful and sexy, and when they don't, and get wrinkled and bent and gray and toothless, no one wants them around.  Especially if they get crabby with it.  (And no wonder they get crabby...)  Today they're told it's their own damn fault they're so unsightly.  In the 17th century, they could get burned.

File:Giles Corey restored.jpg(4) Greed.  In Salem Village, in colonial Massachusetts, while the very first accused witches were old and poor women, most of the rest of them were women of property.  And by being convicted and executed for witchcraft, all their goods were forfeit - to the village, to the church, to the minister, who all gained a great deal of money and land.  This was why Giles Corey, for example, refused to plead guilty or innocent and submitted to being pressed to death:  that way, he had not been tried, and his property could not (and was not) confiscated.

But what I find most interesting about the whole literature of witchcraft is this:  the reports of the witches' sabbaths and the behavior of the devil are all strikingly similar to the reports of current-day alien abductions. The narrative is largely the same:  Abduction/seduction (which usually takes place at night, in a remote area, away from other people), levitation/flight, strange but humanoid figures, a place (witches' circle or spaceship) and a ceremony, probing with cold instruments (please use multiple definitions of this word) here, there, and everywhere (there is a real obsession with genitalia), inexplicable paralysis, inexplicable time lapses, the bewildered return, the strange places on the body that either experience a chronic ache or no feeling whatsoever, the post-event depression and/or confusion - it's all the same.  True, the devils of that time looked completely different from the aliens of modern times, but people in the 1400-1700's in widely disparate countries described the devils and demons pretty much exactly the same, just as people in modern times in disparate countries describe aliens pretty much exactly the same.  (In neither group is anyone seeing, say, a pink rhinoceros with tentacles.)  I repeat:  The narrative is the same, in character and plot.  Only the costuming changes.

So, what's going on?  Is this an interesting reaction to times of great scientific and social change in people who are (more or less) fragile and disturbed to begin with?  Is this Carl Jung's collective unconscious?  Is this what happens when forbidden desires, despair, frustration, alcohol and/or drugs, hormones, and/or sleep paralysis, combine?  Or is this really happening, and all that's happened is that the devil had changed his look?  Or have the aliens changed theirs?


Just something to mull over in those late night hours.  Pleasant dreams.