by Stephen Clark
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
- William Faulkner
“The mission of man is to remember. To remember to remember. To taste everything in eternity as once in time. All happens only once but that is forever.”
- Henry Miller
“The Future ain’t what it used to be.”
- Yogi Berra
The first time around, we started from Rudolf Steiner’s indications about what happened two thousand years ago in Mexico, and tried to bring them into relation with some of what can be known about such events from current scholarship and research.
This installment will proceed from in an alternate direction. We shall start, not from the Cosmic Vision of a respected initiate who looks directly into the nature and events of a past age, but from the personal perspective of a more ordinary individual who proceeds backwards from Year 2002, from the ground of a very particular slice of American soil. Those writing on the topic as a result of different life-experiences or from an upbringing arising from a different part of the Continent would write a different piece. I sincerely hope that there are some who will do so!
This report is an expanded and revised version of a presentation made to a small Santa Fe, NM working group in the later part of the year 2000, originally entitled: America, The Bomb, and Our Own Dark Goddess - An Introduction to the Deep Background of Los Alamos National Laboratories. It can be read as an historical analysis, as a collated set of diary entries, or as a meditational workbook. In the last resort, it is my story; a fragment of my biography. Face-to-face, it would recount differently. Although I have made every effort to relate my speculations to what is known through the work of others, the results and any mistakes herein are my own, and I can and will answer for them. My approach is eclectic; I do not work from Steinerian – or any other - doctrine. Just as one cannot make a gumbo from one ingredient, neither have I attempted to derive everything from one source.
Los Alamos is the birthplace of the atomic bomb and a prime hub of the post-WWII military-industrial complex. The intent of this piece is to look at the implications of America’s pre-Columbian spiritual culture from the perspective of 21st C. USA and to establish a foundation for this juxtaposition.
The rise of the USA into the reigning world power in the aftermath of WWII and the Cold War (which impacted unresolved conflicts into a world-wide state of continual state-sponsored global terrorism via US and Soviet collusion in Mutual Assured Destruction: “MAD”) is a development fraught with decisive complications for the future of the American Dream, as all can agree - no matter how that dream may be conceived, whether be it by a Chomsky or a Brzezinski. The set of influences which constellated around Los Alamos in the 1940’s and which continue to propagate into the ongoing global drama reflect many of these considerations. The abrupt ascendance of technology along with all its myriad diffuse ramifications reveal many of these – but many still remain concealed. One main theme of this paper is that this driving impulse of technology and technocracy is not unprecedented, although its modern emergence within a culture dominated to a singular extent by atheistic, utilitarian, and cynically materialistic values is indeed a new development, one fraught with perverse complications.
I will introduce unfamiliar details of a long-standing, still developing trajectory; it is a theme and variations extending far back beyond any historical record, and it integrates European and American influences. Our founding mythos in the USA may be one of “A New Start”, yet its sacred pedigree constitutes a persistent bass pulse behind the scenes, one perhaps all the more powerful for being unconscious in recent generations. The story of America extends much further back than 1776 or 1492; indeed the term America denotes everything to do with an entire continent – or two of them! Recent events (those of Sept. 11, 2001) bring these considerations into a sharp focus and still deeper significance, and renders Albert Einstein’s remark all the more relevant: “Insanity is doing the same old thing, the same old way, while expecting different results.”
But – and this is the important part – in counterpoint to the depressive spiral of conclusive doomsday warnings, I will also indicate the light at the end of the tunnel, which, contrary to expectations from both the Left and the Right, is not by any means a train. Hope is valiant, but Faith is better: it is confidence in the substance of things known, not yet manifest. The fruit and source is Love: the short cut, and the only way. Is there a place for this in the “Real World?” I will be saying “Yes!” – and in extensive detail. There is much death in the world these days, but death and birth are mirror-images of each other. What is being born? How are these transformations effected? To address these questions will entail some wide-ranging investigations.
What do we find if we dig around outside the sandbox of profit-motive scientism (in effect, the modern superstitious, if materialistic, religion) and try to find threads of inner continuity with what has gone before? What lessons have been learned in the past? Are they forgotten and impossible to access? We are recently confronted with fundamental questions in the vein of: “What is the mission of America? What is Greatness, and is it synonymous with Power? What is true Power; is it outer military and economic might, or more subtle cultural influence, or does it possibly have a more numinous inner basis; one with potentially more benign effects?” While too much of modern spirituality is the most banal variety of narcissistic bourgeois wish-fulfillment, I will introduce some elements of firmer substance into the mix, elements which are novel even for many of the most venerable and ancient wisdom teachings. While this writer recalls that “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, (one historian has defined History as “one damn thing after another”) corresponding positive possibilities of an unprecedented nature are also active in our past. They reveal themselves even within the most formidable of our present-day crises. While we shall investigate unusual considerations which range across a very wide spectrum of Good and Evil, the overarching Vision is an active one of integration, reconciliation, and renewal. I hope to provide something to energize each one who reads this, no matter what their background.
Regarding the local situation in New Mexico: While great controversy swirls about the interpretation of the significance of Los Alamos in the history of the late twentieth century, few of the essential facts are in dispute. Very little, however, is known about the prior history of the area or of the long-range impulses behind the technology of nuclear energy, or even of technology itself. The questions arise: “Do present developments in and about Los Alamos, NM have an historical precedent? Does the activity of Los Alamos National Laboratories have any relationship to the terrestrial forces of this part of the continent, forces, which have always figured strongly in the religious practices of local populations? What were the religious practices of the indigenous people, and how, if at all, did they contribute to the web of influences in which Los Alamos flourishes? And: Are the ancestral Traditions native to newly-arrived Europeans in now living in the Americas relevant?” In short, and as usual, the questions boil down to the simple: “Why are we here?” and “What do we do about it?”
It is the contention of this writer that not only do various branches of neglected European Tradition allow us to pose these questions clearly, but that it also encourages and enables us to investigate possible answers to them. Although it is not possible within the confines of this article to detail the actual methods used by this writer, the substance of it involves contact with the same, if constantly transforming, beings who have always formed the original inspirational core of European and American religions, mythologies, spiritualities. Suffice it to say that “(persistent) intention is everything.” In some cases, seemingly disparate deities reveal themselves to be one and the same. In other cases, obvious correlations prove misleading. Gods, like men, change over time, as a result of interaction – and the time-span under consideration here is large. Nonetheless, efforts made in this area by this writer over a period of many years has engendered not only a strong sense of hope for both the answering of these sorts of questions, but also for then finding of long-term solutions to the dilemmas which provoke them.
Herein I share some of those results, for the purpose of sharing information, encouraging complementary research, and provoking access to the deep reservoirs of divine influence so unique and so close to us in this part of the world. It may become clear that Europe and America do have something good for each other, along the lines indicated by the Hopi legends of Pahana, the Mexica characterization of the (next) Fifth Age as the Age of Flowers, and the pervasive Legend of the trans-cultural Rainbow Warriors.
Our gaze will swing southwards in trail of our muse.
Until the War of 1848, the territory within the present boundaries of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and much of Nevada, Utah, and Colorado were not yet part of the United States, but were claimed by Mexico, and previously, by Spain. Although these northern territories were settled and colonized from out of the Spanish South, not from the East by the English or French, they were in rather tenuous association with the heartland of the Spanish Empire in the New World, and many ad hoc arrangements, free from imperial oversight or rule of law, sprung up between various fluid constituencies in this large area.[i] Although travel and communication between different parts of this widely-flung territory were difficult at best, there is no dispute over the tremendous influence that Hispanic government, culture, and religion have had on the post-Colombian history of this vast area.
Perhaps nowhere in the USA has the influence been more pervasive and long-lasting than in Northern New Mexico, where it has deep roots in the ethos of rural agriculture; where local families trace their roots back some 450 years and where many people still speak only a local Spanish dialect.[ii] Long before English, German, and French settlements gained footholds on the Eastern Seaboard of the continent, Spaniards had carved out and established their loose empire in the southern reaches of the continent, stretching from the Atlantic coast of Florida, across the entire Gulf of Mexico, across much of the South American coast, and up along California. Continuous settlement in New Mexico dates from ~1608, with Coronado’s expedition of 1540 – 1542 traversing the expanse from Southern California through Arizona as far north as the Grand Canyon, the across expanses of New Mexico, and up into Nebraska and central Kansas! No doubt some stragglers set up stakes at various places along the way, or became involved in odysseys a la that of Caveza de Baca. Santa Fe, NM, was officially established in 1610, with casual settlement before that.
The Hispanic influence and experience in the Americas has been strongly modified and attenuated by the physical distance from its homeland and, initially, was not buffered by an only marginally superior technology. Much of this presence was further diluted and subject to reciprocal influence from the native population because of outback location from coastal areas, involving long and tortuous routes of communication and supply. [iii]
Ethnic identification with Mexico is strong among many sectors of modern New Mexican society, and intermarriage between European and American; Hispanic and Indian, in Mexico and New Mexico has been commonplace for centuries, and probably it is this last factor which has been most responsible for its long-term cultural integrity. It is this stable yet also energetic amalgam of influences which has provided a matrix for these reflections: this writer has lived here for over thirty years.
Not only that, but the local Native population itself, which has always lived here and there about the general area, has roots that go back much, much further – further than anyone can trace. Trade routes between peoples of the Colorado Plateau/Rio Grande Valley area and the peoples of central Mexico are of great antiquity and importance, and a surprising amount of cultural interchange has taken place over them. Known as the Turquoise Trail, and extending far down into South America via coastal shipping, the network is the American analogue of Asia’s Silk Road. For instance, the merchant-traders that worked this web of intercourse were often governmental ambassadors of high rank, empowered to make treaty, for trade goods were not bulk consumables, but precious ritual objects and supplies: quetzal feathers, obsidian, copal, sage, turquoise, gemstones, and the like. In addition, along this route, sons and daughters of nobles were given out in dynastic barter, along with transmission of sacred teachings.
Interestingly enough, the Toltec and Aztec empires of central Mexico traced their origins to migrations from a mythical North. It is tempting to consider connections to the fabled Anasazi, especially since the Anasazi underwent their final demise and exodus a couple of hundred years before the Azteca arrived in the Valley of Mexico; enough to permit a mass-cultural migration complete with occasional settlements during planting and harvesting cycles, but with details lacking about this possible link, the question is an open one.
So various ties inextricably bind this area of New Mexico to Old Mexico. The most obvious and significant of these for our purposes – the figure of the local Mexican Goddess Nuestra Senora de Guadaloupe – has her deepest cultic connections north of the present US-Mexico border in Northern New Mexico, and we shall refer to her repeatedly, for her role is pervasive and central. On the simplest of levels, the polarity of long-time religious and artistic Hispanic/Indian/Chicano culture of Santa Fe on the one hand and that of the upstart secular Yankee Los Alamos on the other, close by; one on either side of the Rio Grande valley rift, falls neatly into the categories of right-brain feminine/nurturing and left-brain masculine controlling, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. We can take this a lot further, but here we shall simply introduce the yin-yang imagery of impacted critical-mass force swirling with fractally dispersing goddess grace.
One branch of the European Tradition – the Rosicrucian-Anthroposophical one of Middle Europe – has insights revealing connections to the south of a highly unusual order. In one of the most singular instances of representative Rudolf Steiner’s perplexing way of tantalizing the reader with utterly original yet profoundly unsettling statements, in his Inner Impulses of Evolution lectures he relates events which, if true, are of decisive importance for understanding the inner nature of the Los Alamos phenomenon.[iv] “Los Alamos”, for present purposes, will be our shorthand for the advent of “the Bomb” and its concomitant deployment of the full array of the subnatural electronic, magnetic and nuclear forces within matter by modern technological civilization – all this impossible without the full mobilization of resources by the modern nation-state and its Social-Darwinist ideologies and its unique channeling of the forces of violence. He also relates important precedents for this national security-state paradigm within the not so ancient Roman and Mexican empires,
What Steiner has to say in that occasion in 1916 (while obliquely fleshing out the picture continually throughout his life-work by developing various considerations stemming from other cultures and eras) is relevant because he implies that the modern-form disciplines of physics and chemistry - the hard core basis for our technocratic belief system - developed to their present sophisticated state from out of prior engagement with these same forces in a less manifest form by certain factions within the ancient religions. Among these influences certain cults within the more monumental Mesoamerican[v] civilizations are likely to have been in the forefront. The proposition that technology is simply one form of magic is not a particularly profound insight; the science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is well-known for his observation that any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic. (While true enough in its own way, the difference lies in the fact that what is fully within the personal consciousness of the adept in magical practice finds itself disassociated and removed from the interiority of the practitioner in technology; operated by remote control and automatic means – the process of relationship is rendered as unconscious as possible and disassociated in the extreme. This is a critical distinction which would be lost on Clarke.)
We have become so blasé about the powerful wonders of science and technology, that for most people who have no idea how things work, the phenomenon of the common light bulb or television is just as esoteric as Maya ancestor-invocation via blood-letting! Yet the illuminating paradox is that the ideological materialist cannot refrain from using the language of the mystic! Wonders, miracles, magic, transcendence, fulfillment, wizardry – these words are used out of context without shame as they are drained of all significance by the cynical knowing and self-mocking smirk of clever advertising propaganda. If this is the smoke, where is the fire…? Is there a fire? Language reveals as much as it conceals!
This thesis as it applies in detail to mesoamerican shamanism and nuclear physics is derived from correlation of many published studies and from inner work with the same substance in overlapping European and American Mysteries, yet the simple picture of such a correlation is sustainable by anyone who has studied the sources of science and religion. While some might maintain that the initial tendencies necessary for the incorporation of such impulses into European civilization may have indeed come over from Islamic Arabic and Persian cultures[vi], I maintain that the deepest sources of these proto-scientific forces lie within the Mesoamerican milieu. Steiner makes a crucial contribution by stating that Mexican cults channeling such impulses were the prime opponents to the Deed of Christ (this to be understood in a way free of any subsequent religious associations) – but that this anti-cult encountered successful opposition from other indigenous Mexican forces. A few of the details of his provocative statements are at variance with not only the theories, but also of the evidence of modern scholarship in the field, and these raise questions of a different nature; they were addressed in the first installment of this series: Issue #20 of Southern Cross Review.
Many uncertainties revolve around his sketchy indications of 86 years ago, and contemplation upon them only generates more. For example, one basic question that arises is: “If the appearance of Christ marks a turning point in time – as is reflected in the structure of our calendar system, for instance - is this a global constant, or is it an ethnocentric blip? Do we see evidence of a similar pivot-point in the broad sweep of mesoamerican affairs?” Not only is intimate familiarity with the essence of the original Christian impulse required but also a penetrating objectivity in order to profitably approach this question from the European side. Not easy to come by! The difficulties are of another order of magnitude altogether for the approach from the other direction. No wonder most conscientious researchers beg off from considering the prospect, covering themselves by declaring a priori that it’s futile. Better to sift midden-mounds and base a career on safe documentable minutae. Yet it is well known from their own researches that spectacular transitions took place in 1st-century Mexico, as we shall indicate throughout this piece.
With these profound questions before us - questions that comprise multiple dilemmas; epistemological koans, even - research in the scholarly literature of the archeology, anthropology, and ethnology of ancient America takes on a real urgency and a novel focus. Once one delves into the mass of scholarly research into the matter, a field that was in its infancy only a few years ago - the Mayan script has only been readable within the last few years, and there are still no indications of any Teotihuacan or Toltec language! - one is immediately amazed at how much does remain from centuries of systematic attempts to erase the historical record, efforts of which the Spanish Conquistadors and the follow-on corporate mono-culture of mass-media and World Bank economic “development” are only the most recent. On initial encounter, it can be a bewildering welter of unrelated detail, but this begins to resolve itself if one perseveres.
Literary intuition can perceive the essential nature of the thing:
“Do ye cross that river with yon filibuster armed ye’ll not cross it back."
"Don’t aim to cross it back. We goin to Sonora. What’s it to you, old man?"
The Mennonite watches the enshadowed dark before them as it is reflected in the mirror over the bar. He turns to them. His eyes are wet, he speaks slowly. "The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have the power to wake it. Hell ain’t half full. Hear me. Ye carry the war of a madman’s making onto a foreign land. Ye’ll wake more than dogs.”[vii]
It is long overdue that insight born from the spiritual Traditions of Europe (the “West” of Asia but the “Middle” of world-culture, and which by no means except conceit is a continent of its own) be brought into relationship with those of the cultures which lie across the Atlantic in the Far West. After all, since it is admitted, though at the same instant usually disregarded, that these latter were spiritually-oriented cultures of the first degree, and that the overlapping transpersonal causes and human motivations for their existence and cycles of transformations lay in those spiritual bases, it is fundamentally absurd to look elsewhere than in those inner realities for our understandings of them. Examination of potsherds and corpses, temple architecture and comparative iconography, the evidences of trade economics, etc. can give illuminating data and insights, but broad conclusions derived from them are nonetheless voyeuristic and speculative, with their emphases revealing more about ourselves and what is important to us than about what may have been important to them. The questions we ask, and the manner in which we ask them determines the nature of the answers received – and which questions are rejected out of hand. Informed spiritual insight can be exactly that: in-sight Not a replacement for scholarship or study, but a complement that is glaring by its absence. The dynamic of cultural invasion, annexation, and disassembly which began at the outset with Columbus and Cortez continues. While the physical residue of civilizations long extinct are exhumed and scrutinized with laudable rigor, the living soul and spirit of the peoples are dismissed, not honored, and, not observed by quantifying methodology, accorded only the passing indulgence due a fantasy.
So it is by use of a method suited to its subject that we quest to understand these cultures which are so seemingly Other, ones which have only quite recently become overlaid by our own imported one. Although these alternative modes of access and perception are thoroughly discounted by most academic professionals, they offer great promise for overcoming that hurdle of the onlooker status which is part and parcel of the modern scientific method, a stance which has only a temporary and limited if spectacular utility; one which is showing clear signs of unraveling about the edges. Other essential questions: “Is the mythos of the ancient cultures really lost? What has changed in that mythos – for better and for worse, and what is invariant?”
While there is no lack of those who have “gone native” to one degree or another, including a surprising proportion of those who write about indigenous cultures, what I am talking about here is cross-cultural contemplation from an equivalent esoteric basis; from an peer level of vision, so to speak. Of course, this is only an initial attempt at such an endeavor, but that such an approach as is attempted here is sorely needed, there can be no doubt. Nothing ventured, nothing gained – and yes, we know it has been proved that bumblebees can’t fly…and in the late 1800’s the head of the U.S. Patent Office officially proposed that his department be shut down because everything inventable had already been invented! So let us not waste too much time looking over our shoulders to see whether the skeptics are giving their benediction!
It has been profoundly satisfying for this writer that his multi-disciplinary investigation into ancient American spirituality goes a long way towards answering Rudolf Steiner’s injunction: “Precisely from the example of agriculture, we can see how necessary it is to derive forces from the spirit; forces that are as yet quite unknown. This is necessary…so that human life on Earth can continue at all…”[viii] (emphasis added). Our glance into mesoamerican spiritual impulses will bring us into close proximity to these very forces – forces which can be so threatening, but which also have within them the deepest rejuvenating possibilities!
It is significant that this statement comes from the Agriculture Course, in which Steiner gives his most detailed indications for the healing of the natural order of the Earth, and during which time he also had his very revealing private conversations with his hostess, the Countess von Keyserlingk concerning the golden core of the Earth and the rescue of Persephone.[ix] One can only note with a poetic irony that what was the deepest and most taboo-ridden esotericism for that European culture was the simplest common knowledge for most native peoples in the New World.
Again: a link with La Guadaloupana Tonantzin, whose lovely and vastly tender demeanor is so different from the devouring catabolic aspect of prior Aztec goddesses. How this change in aspect came about involves appreciating the inner nature of this being; her role in earth-evolution from the very beginning, and her relationship with other difficult derivative beings of another quality who are relative latecomers onto the world-stage.
Notwithstanding the fame of their astronomical science and calendar lore, the InnerWorlds of the Mesoamerican civilizations were strongly oriented towards the UnderWorld. In European lore, by contrast, the Underworld is generally denied and considered, when it is considered at all, an extremely unfortunate place: aphorisms like “better a beggar in the land of the living than a king in the realm of the Shades” or imagery of the burning sinners in Hell dominate the mind or represent the general level of appreciation of the UnderWorld by those with either classical education or no education at all. It is beyond the scope of this presentation to trace the esoteric lore of the UnderWorld in Western thought. Although it does quite definitely exist, it lies outside the boundaries of the standard-issue maps and catechisms. It will also be impossible to present the vast scope of the Chthonic realms (a.k.a. “UnderWorld”) in Mesoamerican mythology and practice, not least because so much of it is still unknown – and it is also in the midst of a profound revealing of a new metamorphosis! A remarkable amount is known about it, however, and strong illuminating parallels exist within our own Western European Tradition; most significantly in what has to do with the vicissitudes of the Divine Feminine and the Celtic sources of the Grail-Mythos. Contemplating these parallels sheds an unexpected light in many directions! We will allude to certain of its elements in the course of relating the implications of the encounter between the Magi of Black and White Magic at America’s Turning Point of Time.
What is the gist of these insights? To recap, they relate a struggle in the first century AD between an unnamed representative of greatly devolved “Mexican Mysteries” (Steiner’s term), one who attempted to thwart, not the birth of Christ as did Herod of Palestine, but the purpose of His Sacrificial Death: the at-long-last fully realized archetype of the Rite of the Sacred King. What really gets our attention is that he places this attempt within the historical record for the years 30 - 33 AD. Against this, he also relates how an advanced initiate, of origin and pathway unidentified, stepped forward to deny this malign intention so that the Deed of Christ could complete its full arc.[x] Furthermore, he states that human evolution would have ceased altogether if human souls would have refused to incarnate due to the dislocated occult forces provoked by the “Black Magician”. Steiner relates that the “White Magician” was named “Vitzliputzli” (an archaic form of “Huitzilopochtli”).[xi]
Here we are in deep and unprecedented waters, even for those who are well acquainted with the standard studies in archeology or occultism! Yet even a casual review of precolumbian mythologies reveal a preoccupation with continual struggles between humans and demons, evolved humans and degenerate humans, and the historical record of the peoples themselves indicate the same – for instance in the archetypal saga of the downfall of king Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl (935 or 947 CE to exile c. 987), famous ruler of Tula and the Toltec empire, at the hands of the evil shaman-priesthood of Tezcatlipoca. Enacting the archetypal drama of his namesake, under the totem-influence of his planet Venus, he was exiled, but with prophecy of his return. Cortez had the wit to capitalize on this universal expectation, having the good fortune to show up on the indicated year and day of his return!
Although the investigative method of active inner participation allied with strict observation and discrimination as utilized in this article is dismissed by the official referees, it offers great promise for overcoming that hurdle of the onlooker status which is part and parcel of the modern scientific method, a stance which has only a temporary and limited if spectacular utility. One which is showing clear signs of unraveling about the edges. It is admitted, though the implications are promptly disregarded, that ancient cultures did not live and die by the measurable data which remains to us, but by an agreement unknown to us which was for them the controlling reality. Another essential question: “Is that mythos really lost? What has changed in that mythos – for better and for worse, and what is invariant, and similar to the core insights of all cultures?”
Within the Mexican mythos we have a key for the resolution of the problem of evil – a situation always in the forefront of mesoamerican spiritual striving, a striving that was, by all evidence, a concerted public and social enterprise. Were they really on a constant wartime footing? The late-period Aztecs in particular seem to have been driven to frenzy by a sense of overwhelming necessity in the face of cataclysmic struggles. Was this sense of apocalypse always latent within Mesoamerica? Perhaps: even the “cosmic” Maya are now known to have been inextricably involved in continual and complex calculation of conflict.
The reason that all this is directly connected with the case of Los Alamos is that examination of the nature of the forces which power modern technology – the subnatural forces of electricity, magnetism, and the nuclear forces – quickly bring one into proximity to the beings which stand behind them. For this assertion we can reference the traditional understanding that the natural forces which we see all around us: the forces of weather, gravity, seasonal cycles, the regulated growth into metamorphosing form occurring in natural organisms, etc., are all merely the shadows cast by the activity of very specific spiritual beings – some vast, some miniscule, all embued with great and strange powers (as are we, if we but had the wit to recognize it).
Natural “laws” describe how certain elemental beings without the faculty of free will or responsive sensibility act. “Fields”, “energy”, or “forces” are their traces.
We introduce the idea of successive octaves or orders of reality, for both the higher supersensible and the lower subsensible forces: though they are outside the range of the five senses, they are analogous to the also very real if invisible infrared and ultraviolet frequency-realms which lie past the narrow visible spectrum – in two very different directions. In these passages we enter the area in which Rudolf Steiner’s work is most unique and relevant for our modern age. Also whose implications are most unappreciated, even for his advocates!
In the case of the technological forces just mentioned, the beings which stand behind them are, respectively, the various strife-inducing beings (Luciferic, Ahrimanic, Asuric, according to one format[xii]) that are described by European-based lore as the great Adversaries of humanity. Although there is some debate as to exactly how to apportion these forces among these beings, there does not seem to be much doubt in those circles about the general outlines of the matter.
(Oriental perspectives on this, deriving from eras of a much more ancient vintage in which these subnatural forces were still in nascent form and the their psychological and cultural manifestations in an embryonic stage, do not involve themselves in such considerations as are here the forefront of our present discussion. Recent attempts to find straightforward parallels between Eastern mysticism and Western physics, a la Fritjof Capra’s Tao of Physics (cf. Bib. III), while laudable for their good intentions, are rife with critically significant distortions and frequent outright errors of spiritual fact. Subnatural forces within matter, to be bluntly explicit but also completely accurate about it, are death forces. Buddhism, of whatever variety, is ultimately life-affirming through liberation from earthly forces; its attentions do not penetrate into those deathly regions for their transformation. While correspondences and parallels can be drawn between affairs, levels, and energies within the higher and lower realms, there are critical inversions within the reflections. Blissfully unaware of the crucial distinctions, assuming that whatever is not “physical” is “spiritual”, Capra conflates the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic; for him the “spiritual” is completely undifferentiated. Does he think his discriminatory scientific mind can go on vacation when in the “spiritual”?
I have stated that the point-centered forces of modern science – electricity, magnetism, and the atomic forces – are subnatural forces. How is this to be understood? First of all, insight unique to the Rosicrucian-Anthroposophical Tradition has it that it is by a combination of subtle and dense forces – both outside the range of normal sense perception – that sensible material substance has arisen, and also that the development of this condition lies at the heart of the case of “The Fall”. Past one end of our normally perceptible field, much the same as ultraviolet lies beyond the range of visible light in the direction of higher vibration, lies the immaterial forces of the subtle ethers, ones which are the dynamic templates of the classical physical-material solid, liquid, gaseous, and plasmic states of matter: the spontaneously life-organizing forces. (The terms Earth, Water, Air, and Fire were used to refer to the unmaterialized and archetypal generative counterparts of these physical conditions.) Yet these higher ethers would never have had an “incarnation” into physical form; they would have remained as “laws” (Platonic Ideals) without material referents if it had not been for the agency of their counterparts – their dark twins; the subnatural forces which lie past the other end of the sensible spectrum; ones analogous to the infrared…our modern genies of electricity, magnetism, and the nuclear forces.
It is in the interaction of the supersensible and the subsensible that we have the resultant sensible state of existence, one that, in reality, is quite restricted. We all feel it. No wonder the beings responsible for this precipitating influence are seen as adversaries, or as evil: hence the disturbing qualities of what are known as “aliens”! Not from distant physical stars, they are allied with corresponding starry forces within the earth, but have become overly identified with their tasks and are disturbed by humanity’s perverse tendencies. In the process, they have gotten into even more trouble than has mankind. Inner apprehension of their state of mind and environment is a seriously mind- and emotion-altering process, it is so strange and, indeed, “alien”, yet their coincidence with the Dark Side of our own reality is disturbingly intimate. Their agony of spirit is awesome, their lack of and violent reaction to “soul” is frightening. However, the disturbing effect of the resonance which encounter provokes is precisely because they are not so “alien” after all: they represent a relatively pure counterpart of our own Shadow and Double forces; the Shadow and Double beings of the planetary body! Hence it is a pernicious falsehood to call them extraterrestrials, for this only dislocates us from our earthly kinship with them.
What put us in this straightjacket gets sequestered behind prohibition of taboo – and when taboo begins to reveal itself in spite of relentless avoidance and denial, it gets placed as far outside ourselves as possible: even into realms as far off as distant star-systems. However, when the water table rises, it can’t be plugged. For reasons that are complicated but whose effects are apparent, these forces are making a bid to have their day in the sun. Cell-phone towers, television, electric illumination – it is all around us and we can’t even begin to imagine how we could live without this corporate-sponsored wizardry. We take it for granted but are puzzled by the social and environmental consequences. Yet the subtler energetic bases of physical reality have hardly even begun to be examined by main-line science, notwithstanding the trillions of dollars spent to date on high-energy particle physics research and the like. This is as much a hall-of-mirrors enterprise as the legendary Cub Scout snipe-hunt, yet one which reinforces itself; the same conceits that gave rise to the enterprise which was, in its first instance, the smashing of a bug by a boy with a rock.
Our initially noble paradigm of “objective analysis” in the service of a disinterested scientific inquiry has developed into a fixed and categorical refusal to allow consideration of the essential subjective core within all appearance. “There are no objects; there are only subjects”: says the magician. Exile the subjective in the observer, eliminate the subjective spirit in the World-Body, and what remains but a flux of blind forces? Blind to us, that is. When this model is then applied back upon human and biological culture, what we get is exactly what we have: blind chaos and entropy, with a wild looting scramble for insufficient resources – exactly as determined by the Second Law of Thermodynamics! No solutions to our human problems will be found inside this box! Forgotten in the shuffle is the simple fact that the ultimate purpose of science is to comprehend the scientist.
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them” -Albert Einstein.
What is the “solving” level of awareness that is needed for these crises? Todorov[xiii] offers the kind of incisive insight that brings all kinds of things into clearer focus. He offers that, in order to relieve the inevitable if not entirely similar stresses that occur within human societies, Europe and America chose different strategies. Europe - with significantly weaker Double forces - chose repression and became a massacre society, while America, faced with the unavoidable reality of overwhelming chthonic powers, chose integration and participation, becoming a sacrifice society. The reader may decide for him- or her-self which one shed the most blood or which one was the more debased at the time of contact.
It must be noted that the outcast (“damned”) status of these genies/demons of the point-centered forces – or of the personal Dark Side - is not permanent. They were given a job to do, and they did it, and are doing it. Our lessons are difficult – but so are theirs. We are joined at the hip, and together we stand or fall – this is our secret. Let us also consider the insight that if it is admitted that certain things can only be learned from one’s enemies, what does it mean to consider them enemies? Here we have a key to the resolution of the problem of evil – a situation unsolvable at arm’s length. Plus: we may not need them half as much as they need us; passage through our consciousness may be the catalytic effect they are really seeking in their missing heart-of-hearts!
So – all this is relevant because examination of the possible method of the retrograde adept of ancient Mexico, based upon what Steiner relates concerning his method of practice in conjunction with:
Extensive work by this writer in the realm of self-directed experiential-visionary activity confirms and greatly amplifies these associations. – this paper is the result.
- what is known about the general mythology of the Mesoamerican civilizations,
- the considerations of natural and etheric geography which would greatly condition a Land-based spirituality (e.g.; strong telluric forces as reflected in the gigantic N-S ranges of the Rockies and Andes mountains and the vast weather and volcanism patterns), the constellation of the bio-regions, traditional-culture awareness of geomantic power-regions, etc.,
- knowledge of the relationship between and the ongoing changes within the super- and sub-natural forces, and,
- the comparison with equivalent evolved and devolved chthonic elements of other spiritualities – our own Orphic one not least – lead inexorably to the conclusion that it was these same beings just referred who stand behind the subnatural forces who were worshiped and invoked in certain of the ancient Mexican cults. As they were in their idiomatic forms by other civilizations – but considering these would lead us too far afield.
I am proposing that the specific cults that are related to the case of "Los Alamos" had their most prominent area of development within the Valley of Mexico in central Mexico, site of present-day Mexico City, and had their history within the Olmec culture, the first monumental civilization of Mesoamerica. The contribution of modifying factors local to the Upper Rio Grande Valley/Jemez Caldera area - home to Los Alamos - remain to be investigated in detail, but what is gleaned from many years of living in the area corroborates the general outlines of what is presented here, and provokes speculation on deeper pre-Columbian links between New and Old Mexico.[xiv]
It is clear to this writer that entirely appropriate and forward-looking means for dealing constructively with these same forces and beings were also cultivated within parallel and consecutive American Traditions; ones fostered in diverse significant cultures such as the Hopi, or Algonquin/Iroquois, all of which had deeply positive relationships to the Earth Mother and who managed to deny the lures of Empire.
The Pueblo peoples of the Upper Rio Grande Valley are seem to have finally arrived at a more stable form of society after their exodus from the Anasazi lands to the west – not long before the European invasions altered their possibilities.
I to suggest that the solution to the riddle of the “Mexican Mysteries” cannot be found unless our conception of the term itself is refined. Fuzzy language = fuzzy thinking. If “Mexican Mysteries” means nothing more sophisticated than the specter of a culture ruled by the bogeyman, this is only a failure of the Imagination, even if the imagination itself is easily captivated by visions of such macabre scenes, firmly fixed in the popular mind, of the brief late-terminal phase Aztecs. And macabre compared to what? Does our ethnocentrism blind us to the excesses of our own culture? Was the trench-warfare of WWI, the firebombing of Tokyo and Dresden, the siege of Stalingrad, the Rape of Nanking, or the Holocaust of the Jews evidence of high civilization? Yet we also have our Bachs, Mozarts, Rothkos, Ellingtons, and the Gothic cathedrals. All cultures show evidence of the highest and the lowest in human nature. Can we try to progress to an objective, non-reactive appreciation of a culture that is, in the last analysis, merely different?
I propose: the beings related to these Mysteries of America, though metamorphosing according to their own internal dynamic and in relationship to the cultural conflagrations of the 1500’s and beyond, remain quite active. It cannot be otherwise, for they regulate the most long-range of planetary cycles.
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a local agent for these Saturn Mysteries – the American Mythos.
[i] Brooks: Captives and Cousins, La Gran Ladroneria, and citations therein.
[ii] Gandert: New Mexico Profundo, is excellent on this.
[iii] Weber: The Spanish Frontier in North America. Waters also documents Ayllon: Georgia coast, 1520, Cabrillo: the Pacific Coast of North America, 1542, Luna: Alabama and Georgia interiors, 1560, Aviles: San Augustin, Florida, 1565, Pardo: North & South Carolina, Tennessee interiors.
[iv] Steiner: Inner Impulses of Evolution. Rudolf Steiner was a polymath and practical visionary of the first rank, whose initiatives were partially stymied by the disruptions of the two World Wars.
[v] Mesoamerica: the area encompassing central Mexico to Nicaragua in pre-Columbian times.
[vi] This refers to the Steinerian perspective of the long-standing cultural dynamic between Europe and the Middle East/North Africa region, one that cannot be explored within the scope of this article.
[vii] McCarthy: Blood Meridian, p. 40.
[viii] Steiner: Agriculture, lecture of June 20, p. 3. These lectures form the initial basis for the first – and still most comprehensive – form of organic agriculture: biodynamics.
[ix] von Keyserlingk: Birth of a New Agriculture.
[x] Christ, as he is referred to here, refers to the one who is the universal Spirit of Humanity. This is in total accord with the Pagan understanding that there is a spirit for every rock, tree, and cloud; for everything that has visible manifestation there is a spirit which sustains it and informs it. Steiner’s unique insight was that this archetypal entity associated with humanity, presaged by all the various BC religions and local cults with their invocatory rites of The Sacrificial King, found a personal locus upon the stage of actual history within the individuality of Jesus – a Mythos fully incarnated into History, in other words. As such, much of what passes for Christianity nowadays is simply the most successful and long-running campaign of disinformation, manipulation, and cooptation in history. See Steiner’s Christianity as Mystical Fact for more on this.
[xi] “Magic” we will define as “the spirituality of the Will.” Magic is spirituality as it is employed; it is a transformative process of engagement, and has as little to do with the popular conception of it. The link with shamanism should be apparent. “Vitzliputzli” is an archaic transliteration of the much later Aztec “Huitzilopochtli” (e.g.; search Google for “Vitzliputzli”), but will be retained to denote the original individual in his uncorrupted aspect. The parallel inversion/perversion of aspects inflicted upon the founders of Christian and Aztec religion should be obvious – and predictable. More conjectural is a possible converging referent for Huitzilopochtli and the Mayan proto-shaman Itzmana in an actual 1st century personage.
[xii] Luciferic: tending to glamour, self-inflation, and visionary delusion, disdain for the “facts” (‘reality = maya, the solution disengagement). The upside is individualization creativity, and freedom. Its Shadow is electricity, the fallen state of Light ether. The prime being Lucifer is now seen as an ultimate benefactor, although certain Luciferic elements remain snagged. It is the temptation on the Left, the Shadow lodged in the astral personality.
Ahrimanic: when the former fails, this takes over: cynical manipulation, submission to the controlling reality of the “facts”, and reliance on technique The upside is competency, reliability, accountability, teamwork, and the positive use of Power. Allied with the point-centered forces, and according to most accounts, with magnetism, the fallen state of Sound ether. The Adversary embodying the out-of-balance forces on the Right. Its individualized component of Double is lodged in the etheric bioenergetics; it is a deeper and more permanent fixture than the Shadow and is even said to accompany the Self through death. Regarding the transition between Stage One and Stage Two, Jacques Ellul says: “Nothing belongs any longer to the realm of the gods or the supernatural. The individual who lives in the technical milieu knows very well that there is nothing spiritual anywhere. But man cannot live without the sacred. He therefore transfers his sense of the sacred to the very thing itself that has destroyed its former object: to technique itself.”
Asuric: the final stage of internal collapse: vicious rageful nihilism. The upside is unknown. Reflective of the nuclear forces corresponding to the Life ether, or is there an as-yet undiscovered Third Force? This remains to be seen. These beings as yet appear to have no fruitful association with Earth-evolution, yet since the nuclear forces are essential for full material manifestation, the issue is unclear.
[xiii] Todorov: The Conquest of America. Coincident with this insight is the observation of Byron, who speaking as a European going “Out”, said: “The great object of life is Sensation – to feel that we exist – even though in pain – it is this “craving void” which drives us to Gaming – to Battle – to Travel – to intemperate but keenly felt pursuits of every imaginable description whose principle attraction is the agitation inseparable from their accomplishment.” The indigenous pre-Columbian, on the other hand, with his different link with Spirit, went “In” for his affirmation of Selfhood.
[xiv] Taube: The Teotihuacan Cave of Origin, has an excellent discussion of essential similarities between Teotihuacan and Pueblo emergence myths and symbolism.