Searching for the Dawn & Demise of Ancient Civilisation

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By ROBERT M. SCHOCH, PH.D. — When and where did civilisation begin? How far back in time does high culture go? Indeed, what do we mean by such terms as civilisation, or sophisticated and high culture? When I was in college, more years ago than I perhaps care to remember, I learned the standard story which still holds sway in many circles: Civilisation and high culture date back to, at most, perhaps five or six thousand years ago. A handy marker for recognising a true civilisation was … [Read more...]

Crypto-History: The State of the Art (Part Two)

BY RICHARD HEINBERG — A great scientific instrument lies sprawled over the entire surface of the globe. At some period, thousands of years ago, almost every corner of the world was visited by people with a particular task to accomplish. With the help of some remarkable power, by which they could cut and raise enormous blocks of stone, these people created vast astronomical instruments, circles of erect pillars, pyramids, underground tunnels, cyclopean stone platforms, all linked together by a … [Read more...]

Crypto-History: The State of the Art (Part One)

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BY RICHARD HEINBERG — Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, as well as over parts of the continent, and besides these they subjected parts of Libya within the Straits as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. - PLATO, Timaeus For as long as there have been historians, two versions of early human history have competed for acceptance. One, which is now the official version, says that … [Read more...]

The Spiritual Dimensions of the Martial Arts

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BY ROBERT JAMES BURATTI — He who wishes to live in an oriental martial art, rather than to just practice it on a physical level, must so train his consciousness to attain a self-discipline that at last his conscious mind will merge into an identity with the very principle of life itself. – Maurice Zalle Amongst the usual loud and predictable offerings at the Australian cinema box office last summer, the Hollywood movie The Last Samurai emerged as an interesting alternative for many curious … [Read more...]

Secret Teachings Reborn: The Mysterious Life of Manly P. Hall

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By MITCH HOROWITZ — The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw an explosion of spiritual teachers and impresarios dealing in “secret wisdom.” Their ranks included hacks and frauds – as well as more than a few genuine scholars of esoteric traditions. Most have vanished from memory, their writings a historical footnote.  There exists one distinct figure, though, whose movement and teachings not only survived his passing but are even experiencing a revival in our day. His name is … [Read more...]

The Lost City of Angkor Wat & the Mysteries of a Great Asian Civilisation

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By WALTER MASON— Angkor Wat is a vast stone temple at the heart of an ancient stone city. But at the ends of its corridors and the centres of its hidden rooms lie surprising Buddhist shrines still active in a place abandoned for hundreds of years. These Buddhist statues are imposters, hasty late additions to a religious building constructed to accommodate the myths and rituals of Hinduism. They are splendid still, some draped incongruously in new and garish orange robes, the polyester … [Read more...]

A Life of Philip K. Dick: The Man Who Remembered the Future

Philip K Dick with his wife Leslie (Tessa) Busby (married between 1973-1977). Photo courtesy of Tessa Dick.

By ANTHONY PEAKE This year saw the 30th anniversary of the death of one of the most influential writers of all time, the iconic Philip K. Dick. Although virtually unknown outside of science fiction circles, during his lifetime Dick’s intriguing philosophy on the nature of reality has become a staple of the modern Hollywood movie. Huge blockbusters such as Total Recall, Minority Report, The Adjustment Bureau, Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly and Paycheck were loosely based directly on his novels … [Read more...]

Spying, Prying & Lying: The Rise of Global Digital Surveillance

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By PATRICK HENNINGSEN Books have been written about [US] President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.” – Michael Hirsh, National Journal1 In our interconnected global digital society, there appears to be no escape from the issue of digital surveillance. Regardless of … [Read more...]

When Does the Kali Yuga End?

In Hindu mythology, Kalki is the final incarnation of Vishnu, foretold to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, our current epoch. The Puranas foretell that he will be atop a white horse with a drawn blazing sword. He is the harbinger of the end time in Hindu eschatology, after which he will usher in the Satya (Krita) Yuga.

By JOSCELYN GODWIN The widespread belief that an age is ending and a new one dawning is part of a cyclical concept of time common to most philosophical cultures. The best known versions are the Four Ages of Greek mythology and the Hindu myth of the Four Yugas. The purpose of this article is to clarify some of the confusion that exists around them, to set out the actual figures as given by Eastern and Western authorities, and to discourage unthinking acceptance of a currently popular … [Read more...]

The Inscrutable Madame Blavatsky: An Interview with Gary Lachman

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By RICHARD SMOLEY I was in search of the unknown... – Madame H.P. Blavatsky (1831-1890) Gary Lachman is one of today’s most intelligent and prolific authors on the world of the occult. He started out in the 1970s in the New York rock scene as one of the original members of the groundbreaking New Wave band Blondie. In 1996 he moved to London, where he established himself as a full-time writer, contributing to publications such as Fortean Times, The Guardian, and The Times Literary … [Read more...]