The devolved and evolved Mystery Streams of America are spreading their wings and girding their loins for battle. Both camps, greatly augmented in scope and power, are now more active than ever. Reflection on the substance of what is revealed by participatory access leads us to expect both the progressive and retrograde forces to deploy new aspects in the times to come; indeed, in the times in which we are living right now. The role of Los Alamos as a prime focal point for the introduction of subnatural forces into the natural world is a result of the ability to commandeer resources that only the modern National Security State can deploy. This also is a recapitulation of the spiritual and political history of Mesoamerica: the history of great religious-militaristic empires - and one which is in syncopated counterpoint to the legacy of Rome in Europe.
The massive effort of the Manhattan Project which spawned Los Alamos National Laboratories and the ability to wage the Cold War revealed an intention of Ahrimanic seriousness unknown to the Germans or Japanese of the 1940's - but not to the Leninist-Stalinists of Russia, on whose soil 80% of WWII in Europe was fought and won. Hence the almost inevitable squaring-off of the two survivors, for Ahrimanic power does not allow for power-sharing.
In the USA, our history in this is impressive: our command of the skills of economic mobilization, strategic military planning, and operational logistics far outstripped anything that the Axis Powers could develop, fought the Second World War on two fronts, and won the overall WWII/Cold War struggles for our brand of empire. "Empire", in this sense, can be a value-free term denoting a situation and infrastructure in which 5% of the world's population consumes over 60% of its resources, and determines the priorities within its sphere of influence.
Our pre-history for this lies in Mesoamerica: for instance, from 150 AD to 750 AD, Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities in the world: population 200,000. Only Rome and Beijing compared in size, and the regularity of its urban organization was not duplicated until the great industrial centers of North America arose in the late 1800's. There, the ubiquitous pyramids of the South were replaced by equally prevalent smokestack factories. Within, the impulse was the same, though the rites might differ: to concentrate and mobilize for ideological purposes the terrestrial subnatural forces and the correspondingly deep psychological forces of the folk. Outwardly, the procedure was the same: the total engagement of the civilian population for a state-directed - if mostly unconscious and esoterically manipulated - enterprise. We have our heroes and our sloganeering: Paul Bunyan and Manifest Destiny, Democracy and the Rights of Man. It is not implausible that equally pervasive motivations of a more blatantly religious or subtly occult nature motivated the mesoamerican pyramid-builders. What might they have been?
Steiner's insights are as good as any, and better than most. Out of a gigantic spiritual-cultural upheaval in the 1st Century AD, new forms of expression arose to celebrate and institutionalize these epochal changes. Not all of humankind's problems were solved in a stroke, however. Conflicts and stresses remained and found new and expended fields of expression. Were the successful efforts of the proto culture-hero Vitzliputzli co-opted in short order, or did they have a long period of efflorescence? From the evidence remaining to archeology, it is difficult to determine which purpose was served by the mighty pyramids of Teotihuacan and the Mayan lands. That there was an explosion of unprecedented social vitality across Mesoamerica in the first century of the Christian era is undeniable, although the significance of it to the people on-site at the time is not easy to determine. It is one of the central facts of European and Anglo-American history that it only took a few hundred years before the radically grounded compassionate gnosticism of Jesus Christ became synonymous with Roman state power. What was the arc of development of the Christ-initiate's impulse in America? This questions pleads to be asked and addressed in detail, but acknowledged in even the most general terms, it can act as a mighty orienting lodestone for a multitude of inquiries.
The reactionary portion in Mesoamerica was the old one of Law and Order as a bulwark against the New. Its intended result, unglimpsed by those who put their shoulders to the wheel, was the suppression of free human soul-life and its replacement by a programmed existence of a wholly different order, one with no relationship to the Creator Beings, the originating cosmos, the natural world, or the core values of the heart. In spite of the gloss of shiny consumer products and an entertainment industry that services a leisure culture (when we find time for it!), one could make a good case that we in Year 2001 America have progressed far beyond the Aztecs in the institutionalization of horror and the realization of the cyborg. Our desensitization is well progressed. Although emphasizing the fantastic, the movie Matrix is insightful in the extreme in portraying the logical conclusion to our current trends, and Ray Kurzweil eagerly awaits the day when he can download himself into his software, dispensing with his obsolete carbon-based body![i]
Rudolf Steiner, in one of his very few references to the Mexican cults outside of the cited lectures, speaks of Henry Ford's assembly lines and their philosophy of mass-production as deriving directly from millennia-old impulses within one aspect of the American Folk-Soul.[ii] It is known that Teotihuacan did pioneer a mass-production system for the production of consumable ritual objects. This example might be one face of the chthonic impulse in America. And as much as William Blake's "Dark Satanic Mills" looks ahead to the American Matrix-future as they describe the Industrial Revolution England, the foundations of them go back to Mesoamerica. The dreams of Atlantis die hard, and proliferate in nightmare vision as fast as their shoots are cut off. Who will pull them out by the root - or will it be by agency of the Core UnderWorld that they will be extruded into our hands for their Manichaen transformation?
As far as Steiner's indications go about the positive side of these late Olmec-period developments, he stresses that things would have certainly been much worse if their progressive elements had not triumphed at that decisive moment in time, and that the more long-range our perspective becomes, the more effective those elements will seem. He also emphasizes in that regard that these are the positive virtues of Atlantean culture which are still preserved within the Land of America - as we have seen with Vitzliputzli. As some positive impulses went East with Manu/Noah, so also did some go West. Unfortunately, his reticent comments about things American do not expand on the local detail, and his temperamental antipathy to things Mexican in general do not allow for an easy unfolding of the implications of his remarks.[iii]
The other face, totally congruent with the most forward-looking impulses, may equally well have inspired the construction of the early grand ceremonial complexes. Does Teotihuacan reflect one or the other - or a complex mix of both? It would seem plausible that considering the apocalyptic demise of its predecessor and neighboring rival Cuicuilco, that either way, the Teotihuacan impulse was relatively pure, at least up until its mysterious implosion. It was certainly a zero-year starting point for all subsequent civilizations in the area, and its legendary fame may derive - spiritually - from the regeneration of all the old God and Goddess forms by the stroke of Christ's passage through the UnderWorld - in Mexico an appreciation certainly very different and much more complex than possible in Europe!
In our times, and on a corresponding octave of the evolutionary spiral[iv], releasing atomic energy into the mix of evolution was a dangerous attempt at the destabilization of the natural order; a counterproductive absurdity, for it would be a long climb back up the evolutionary ladder if the "nuclear spasm" had been triggered. This precipitous result was averted. But - it was extremely effective in instilling an unprecedented level of constant fear and anxiety into the entire population of the planet. Now Los Alamos seeks to maintain its position in the forefront of technological progress, not only by developing a new generation of nuclear weapons (what ever happened to the "Peace Dividend"?), but by moving into the field of genetic engineering and beyond; into the realm of genetically engineered bio-weapons: super-anthrax and the like, and, inevitably, into attempts to "improve the human breed" via the eugenics of DNA code-manipulation.[v] If future developments are unclear in detail, past and current "revolutions" stemming from scientific discovery should be a good indication of what to expect: it won't be all it's cracked up to be, especially as much of the research is driven and funded by military and trans-national corporate agendas, with benefit and profit secularly sanctified by the legal blessing of "intellectual property rights." It's still the tantalizing but elusive promise of the "Wonderful World of the Future": a fantasy carrot and an all-too-real stick, with the profits privatized, the costs subsidized, and citizens paying the price. Who will be the enemy, if not ourselves, and who will be the bill collector, if not America, Inc.?[vi]
There is an eerie parallel to the splitting of the atom: the unlocking of the psyche and the subconscious in psychology. The discoveries were simultaneous, the biographies of the pioneers in each field similar. The promises, also, were either false or subverted - witness the role of the modern pharmaceutical industry in behavior modification, with the distinction between good and bad drugs more political than medical.
Spiritual struggles of the most intimate and profound nature swirl about these "developments"; ones which recapitulate, in an amplified way, ancient history. Note, in the case of the Manhattan Project physicists, the almost mystical devotion to their "pure" science that drove them, the esoteric nature of their cultic enterprise, the priestly caste of the initiates themselves, and the public veneration accorded them and their authority. Team leader Oppenheimer's mystical ruminations are most instructive. [vii] Here we have the cult of the scientist raised to its apotheosis - except that, once again, the God was an imposter; the goods hijacked. The science was never "pure." (The recent movie Wag the Dog could not be clearer in its depiction of the seduction of Genius by Power.) That the modern secular initiate is ostensibly an atheist or agnostic is of no account. Whether priest, initiate, or expert, the function is identical: to mediate the will of the cosmos; the "gods", "history", the "Invisible Hand", or "the facts" to the rest of humanity and direct their activity.
On a mundane level, we have the scientific pundit who speaks decisively on a variety of subjects ranging from the global economy and the origin of the universe to shampoo rinse and weight-loss diets. The question remains: which god will we worship; which reality do we choose? That each one nowadays pretends to be a realist serving only himself or herself is the ultimate anarchy; a complete delusion. It is the essence of "facts" to compel; the real Gods value human freedom and moral initiative above all else - we are their religion. By this standard of our true worth, how should we be judging those other "gods" who come bearing shiny trinkets and promised wonders, their price being a gutting of the psyche? When modern guru Steven Spielberg announces that the new generation of digital special effects will perfect the art of Imagination, and that: "Someday the entire motion picture may take place inside the mind, and it will be the most internal experience anyone can have", one can hear William Blake's anguished howl of protest. [viii]
Abdication of responsibility is surrender of Self; if those who have undergone make-over under the influence of ET reprogrammers, plastic surgery, or too much TV are the walking advertisements for the New Star-World Order, it is yet another fresh shock to consider how low our standards have fallen.
We may be a secular society, but it is an illusion that we are free of superstition. We may abjure formal religion, but we still bow down; we relinquish our moral autonomy, capitulate to circumstances: to Market Forces, to Policy, to Expediency, to the Experts - to Convenience. Even while retaining links to formal religion, many are still huddled in the corner of a mind-numbing conformity: "Experts agree: Everything is Fine!" What absurdities sneak in under the cloak of "freedom" or "democracy?" We still believe in what we cannot bear witness to, and live on a faith which may be more superstitious than that of the fabled witch doctor. Who takes the power which is so cheaply given; where does it go when we sell out?
We have been referring to struggles around these issues, struggles ancient and modern. But struggles imply at least two sides, more or less equal. Who is on the other side? We shall go there shortly, but though our bitter cup is not yet drained, the Goddess waits in the wings; she will be entering shortly....
The connection with Rome, mentioned in passing earlier, is significant for many reasons. One can easily place the dynamic of the rise of Roman civilization in juxtaposition to the parallel contemporary events taking place in Mexico. (Some musings place the southerly Maya in the role of classical Greece, in counterpart to Romanish Toltec and Aztec, but although this speculation is heavily discounted nowadays there may be some imaginal truth in it.) Recall all the various indications that exist regarding the significance of the immense legacy of Roman culture and its pivotal and continuing influence on the subsequent development of European civilization. Many diverse and pervasive influences; none horrible in themselves or in theory, but, in practice, and as implemented by fallible men, and without counterbalancing impulses, are developments which have run off the tracks to a large extent and which have done a great deal to undermine hopes for more just and peaceful societies. They continue to form a persistent knot in our mass-cultural psyche. The lure of resuscitating this dream of centralized world hegemony has resonated throughout European history, although the ability to realize this dream has only been possible in recent decades (in large part via the instrumentality of the threats issuing from Los Alamos & Co.) and has always been opposed by unique brands of idealistic utopianism and Native wisdom.
Traces of this bipolar tendency in the USA can be seen in the fact that the present site of Washington, D. C. was originally an Algonquin Council site and originally named "Rome" by the earliest European settlers.[ix] Note the remarkable effect of the visuals in the movie Gladiator and its success in communicating a simultaneous sense of revulsion and exultation with the ethos of that era; "The Glory of Rome...the corruption..."; a thrill from each, a pride in both. The Roman Empire may have been ruled by monsters as often as not, but at least they were our monsters! This writer experienced the strangest sensation during the movie of looking into both the Roman and the Aztec world; seeing the Coliseum superimposed by a pyramid, the gladiator by the spiritual patriot, etc. The archetypal patterns are universal....
Los Alamos is a prime indicator for just how far down the road to logical insanity the ambition-filled impulse of the all-powerful state can be taken. Not to gripe overmuch, but it requires a relentless look at our own culture's Dark Side if we are to be able to look past or through it to something better. It is our own Lesser Guardian of the Social Threshold, fully incarnated in and among us, which is now walking and talking through all avenues of the media. Any entry into the spiritual world (whether "up" or "down") which does not face it down as it reveals itself within the subjectivity of the individual is illegal and illusory and will backfire - is backfiring, as we can see all around us: it refuses to be ignored, and demands attention in exteriorized and projected fashion. We have seen the omen of this dynamic in the shockingly realized image of the Trump of The Blasted Tower which has been so relentlessly driven home since Sept. 11. This is a law of initiation and a universal admonition: confrontation with one's Shadow, the personal Double, the macrocosmic Double, the Lesser Guardian - all aspects of the same thing, basically - cannot be avoided. One is proactive in the encounter and one grows - and the social situation becomes healthy, too. One avoids...and one still learns, but as victim - or fights the integration - as oppressor. From the European side of this mix comes the prediction that early on into the 20th Century humanity would be presented with a choice between the Easy Way and the Hard Way as the century developed: with the recapitulation of a 2,000 year cycle foreseen by both the simple devout and seers and due to begin in this time-period, there would be both great opportunities and great dangers confronting humanity.[x] The adversarial influences in evolution would be flushed out from their hiding places to walk about in the light of day and great changes in humanity and in the spiritual world would take place that would make possible the autonomous reentry of humanity into the spiritual worlds, and a push towards a reintegration of diverse aspects of our greater human nature. The counter-cultural adage: "You are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem" sums it up quite nicely.
It appears from all indications that, once again, humanity has chosen the hard way, and that, with everything encapsulated and represented by "Los Alamos", our own United States of America and our own beloved New Mexico has the dubious privilege of playing Bethlehem to The Beast. Is it so incomprehensible that there might not be mixed reactions from the periphery to this juggernaut of "Progress?"
Positive balancing contributions from the Middle and East of the planet seem to be held up in accounts receivable while elements within European culture which attempted to provide alternatives to this relentless momentum of state hegemony represented by Rome were subjected to ruthless and successful elimination. From the campaigns against the Gnostics in the early Christian centuries, against the Pagan Tribes of northern Europe and the pre-Christian (yet Christian) Irish, to the squashing of the Templars, Cathars, and the Rosicrucian Enlightenment of the 1600's[xi], the Ahrimanic impulse of "whatever is not compulsory is forbidden" has held sway and has continued to metastasize. The predominance of this impulse has been remarkably continuous throughout the various changings of the guard that took place as the Roman Empire reconfigured to Holy Roman Empire, to the diversified Royal Houses, to the Third Reich, to the squeeze-press of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, to WTO.
"The Fascist movement is a spontaneous return to the traditions of ancient Rome." [xii] The periodic wars that have devastated Europe throughout the last two millennia did nothing to shake the power of this impulse. In fact, every war seems to have entrenched it ever more deeply, in spite of the efforts of saints, patriots, and famous wise people of all stripes. But here, also, Steiner finds a positive note in that the dominant Roman impulse towards centrist legislation and regulation was undermined and weakened by fortuitous Italian counter-tendencies of rugged egotism.
It was somewhat different in central Mexico. Here, where the terrestrial hardening forces were even stronger than in Europe, counterbalancing forces of the fractal periphery were also stronger, and the Double was integrated to a greater extent; great empires rose and fell, but each one was separated by great gulfs of discontinuity from its antecedent and successor. The nature of time was more cyclic than linear. The acceptance and integration of these forces also tended to give them effective limits. Fantastic and futuristic Teotihuacan, already referred to, arose out of at least 1500 years of Olmec prehistory to replace its predecessor Cuicuilco in the period 150 BC - 50 AD when Cuicuilco was buried under more than one immense lava flow from its neighboring volcano Xitli. The succeeding empires of the Valley of Mexico each suffered corresponding abrupt demise, as each successor attempted to carry on the proto-Imagination of Imperial Atlantis (Aztlan!) - but with decreasing effectiveness and increasing use of force and violence. Teotihuacan suffered a cataclysmic internal collapse of unknown motivation but of singular ritual intent - a societal disassembly of such magically effective intensity as to prevent any subsequent resettlement of the site. This in spite of its being revered by all succeeding local cultures as "The Birthplace of the Gods" and the place where the present World-Age of the Fifth Sun was inaugurated.
A hundred and fifty years later the Toltecs arrived from the "North" to found their empire's capital city of Tula 60 km to the northwest. 375 years later - half the life span of Teotihuacan - Tula was gone, for similarly mysterious if equally conclusive reasons. When the Aztecs arrived in the area two hundred years later - from the North - they found only a miscellany of feudal fiefdoms scattered around the central lake of the Valley of Mexico, none of which were directly related either in scope or political history to the fabled Toltecs, although the claiming of it was universal. Kind of like the touchstones of "Mom, apple pie, and Babe Ruth" which are claimed by all segments of the political spectrum of those of us in El Norte, all in Aztec times bowed in the direction of mythical Tula. The fact that more than one Aztec ruler destroyed the records of previous local eras and stripped Tula to furnish Tenochtitlan, for example - may have inspired the Spanish to do the same. The Aztec apocalypse, although of a slightly different circumstance - military defeat - was abrupt and conclusive.
Or was it? The indigenous American expression of culture and spirituality were dealt a devastating blow in the encounter with Europe, and its expression and memory ruthlessly and carelessly repressed, but what is repressed does not simply go away; it bides its time and resurfaces via novel forms of expression, sometimes with a nasty twist, sometimes with renewed, purer, vigor. Having died to outer expression in the Season just past, it is now being reborn. Can we be alert enough to recognize it as it emerges within us? What will it look like?
...to be continued
i Kurzweil: The Age of Spiritual Machines. Also Twerk: "At some point, when technology is ready, I will become the machine that I am using." - Songs in the Key of F12 (Wired 5/2002, p. 87.)
ii Steiner: private communication to Dr. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. Precedents for this in archeology are noted in Pasztory's Teotihuacan, p. 59, and elsewhere.
iii Steiner: Karmic Relationships, Vol. II, pp. 192 - 193, for some peculiarly blistering swipes at Mexican culture. He is also on record as having detested the saxophone and jazz. But then, he never heard Coltrane or Armstrong. I think we can allow him a personality!
iv Powell: Chronicle of the Living Christ, with his groundbreaking reconstruction of the chronology of Christ's life and incorporation of its cyclic activity into the future - our present - as the "Second Coming" is relevant in this respect.
v Commoner: Unraveling the DNA Myth, deftly exposes the hubris of this.
vi Joy: Why the Future Doesn't Need Us, is a prescient article on this.
vii Goodchild: J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Grabau, The Christ Bomb.
viii Steven Spielberg, as quoted in Wired magazine's lead article of June, 2002, although to be fair, he also expresses some cogent cautions about the tendency of technology to dominate.
ix Ovason: The Secret Architecture of the Nation's Capitol, p. 8.
x Powell, and varied Mayan Calendar considerations coincide in predicting the year 2012 as a pivotal year.
xi Indicated by this phrase is the impressive work Frances Yates: e.g.; The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, etc.
xii Trevor-Roper: Hitler's Table Talk, July 5, 1941, p. 3.
A full bibliography for these and other works will be appended to the next installment.
Inquires and responses welcomed; send to: to Stephen Clarke, [email protected], c/o Southern Cross Review, or through his All Our Relations group at YahooGroups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AllOurRelations/
Stephen Clarke is a BMW/MBZ Service shop owner, a 30-yr. New Mexico resident, and president of his local Santa Fe Anthroposophical Society Branch. He attends church at a local Pueblo sweat lodge.