I keep trying to understand why people think crystals contain magic powers that can make rocks float, but I just can’t wrap my head around it. I understand that crystals, under considerable compression (mechanical stress), will generate piezoelectricity, but how does this translate into “crystal technology” that can shoot tractor beams that make rocks weightless? As I understand it from the 1985 book Crystal Power by Michael Gary Smith, this involves using crystals to focus “mental and emotional powers” and relates somehow to the lost technology of Atlantis, which we all know did not exist before Frederick S. Oliver invented it in Dweller on Two Planets (1894/1905). This is just one reason I was confused by Eternal Knowledge Festival founder Lucy Wyatt’s piece on Graham Hancock’s website from earlier this month in which she agrees with the power of crystals but seems to think it gives us magical mental powers rather than physical ones. Keeping it all straight is just too hard.
Wyatt claims that the Bronze Age has much to teach humans of the modern age, and she goes on to “prove” this somewhat reasonable idea with a hodgepodge of unrelated claims that fundamentally misunderstand history, reflect a romantic idea of ancient people living in harmony with nature, and include claims about spiritual dimensions to reality. Specifically, she is writing in support of her festival, which will discuss “ancient technology, Egypt and the stone of destiny, psychedelics and pharaohs, Medieval heresies, C17th Rosicrucianism, Carl Jung and hermeticism, concepts of the state ancient and modern, Tarot and the Hermetica, and sacred geometry.”
I’m frankly a little disconcerted that every fringe piece and gathering recently seems to draw on a hundred different fringe claims and presuppose knowledge of and acceptance of all of them. Doesn’t anyone stick to one topic anymore?
Wyatt begins her piece with a hippie New Age paean to the ancient harmony humans supposedly had with the earth, a claim more typically associated with Native peoples than with Bronze Age cities: “From agriculture to architecture, metaphysics to physics, harmony and healing, the Bronze Age ancients knew how to address the needs of the city dweller and still have with (sic) respect for the Earth and the natural world.” Yes, the festering hives of poverty and disease, where sewage ran through the streets and the skies were thick with the smoke of burnt offerings, were environmental paradises! The needs of the city dweller, as I understand it, apparently involved human sacrifice, slavery, and brutal punishments. It was the best of times, though, because there wasn’t any plastic, just good old-fashioned lead. But, seriously, scholars have discussed the environmental degradation caused by Bronze Age settlements, and this material should be easily available for Wyatt to read should she remove her rose-colored spectacles.
“Thanks to the Bronze Age, we began to move away from our hunter gatherer way of living,” Wyatt writes, apparently in ignorance of the existence of the Neolithic Revolution and its development of the single most important factor in the move away from hunter-gatherer lifestyles—agriculture. That said, I fail to understand why someone who wishes to live in harmony with the earth would see the end of the hunter-gatherer age as a positive, since hunter-gatherers have the least environmental impact of any human society.
The reason, of course, is that she belongs to the ancient mysteries school of history, which idolizes the religious writings of the first civilizations and therefore sees those civilizations as perforce possessed of particular sanctity by dint of having possessed this wisdom. This wisdom she sees as an understanding of the vibrations (yes, vibrations) that rule the universe. According to Wyatt—and based on no sources I can discover—ancient Egyptian women told stories of a Golden Age 65,000 years ago when women ruled with wisdom and compassion through vibrations.
This was a matriarchal civilization that revered the strength and wisdom of the “mother”– who they related to the creation energy of all that is. Everything is vibration; everything exists in waveform—the sin wave. [Note: I hope she means sine wave.] It is the Neter, Hathor (primordial mother energy) that gives this sin wave the spark of “life” through Sound! This is why so many cultures revere the serpent energy which is the basis for all that exists in our three dimensional reality including our very own DNA.
Here Wyatt seems to disagree with the famed ancient astronaut theorist Erich von Däniken. While he did write in Twilight of the Gods (2012) that all of reality was the result of “vibrations” of the “Great Cosmic Intelligence,” von Däniken was pretty sure that ancient times were dominated by men and male aliens who used “the females” as objects. Wyatt in fact even declares that humans, not aliens, were the gods of old! She accidentally repeats Euhemerus (Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica 2.45; Plutarch, Moralia 5.26.23; etc.) without having any idea who Euhemerus was or why his idea that the Greek gods were ancient human kings wasn’t right in 300 BCE and isn’t right in 2014.
But her faith in human ingenuity (which, I guess, is refreshing for a fringe figure) lets her assume that the Egyptians had “crystal technology” that harnessed “natural subtle forces” like sound to affect our consciousness—to what end she doesn’t say. Was this meant to be the mysterious technique she believes was used to build the pyramids of Egypt? It isn’t clear, but she is certain that copper, stone, and wood couldn’t be used to cut or move stone blocks.
She then breaks off into a seemingly unrelated discussion of the troubadours of medieval France, the Knights Templar, and the Cathars. She praises the Cathars for resisting Catholic conformity, and she says that the “civilising effects on medieval Western European society of the music, poetry and arts and crafts in this area in the High Middle Ages is legendary.” What does that mean? How did troubadours, singing raunchy songs of sex and satire, civilize France? What precisely was different about Gothic architecture that changed human nature in a way that Romanesque did not? Exactly how were the butchers of the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) different than those of the First (1096-1099)?
In praising the Rosicrucians, Wyatt offers this howler: “After the Middle Ages, it was not until the Renaissance that ideas began to change and fed into the great movements of the C17th that produced geniuses like Sir Isaac Newton.” And what, pray tell, came between the end of the Middle Ages on October 12, 1492 and the start of the Renaissance the next morning? I kid, of course: The Middle Ages gradually faded into the Renaissance over the course of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries; there wasn’t a hard and fast dividing line.
So what is the reason for revising history to celebrate the Bronze Age and the High Middle Ages? It’s to create a fictional past where humans supposedly lived in small communities, connected by faith, free from bureaucracy, and in harmony with the earth. Or, as Wyatt puts it:
If anything, it can lead us to a different way of viewing the modern state. The news media depends upon war and conflict almost as much as do politicians and the arms industry. Sadly, we have come to see organized strife as a natural part of being human – as something traditional and inevitable. But suppose that our natural tendency is to cooperate and live with each other in a state of peace and harmony, unburdened by state bureaucracy, its military establishment and the cost of their support? We have done it, we can do it, and today more than ever before we have the tools with which to effectively govern ourselves from the bottom up.
Because if there is anything that the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages were known for, it’s peace, harmony, and cooperation.
Anyway, this is a pretty clear case of a fringe figure trying to recreate the past to justify a New Age vision of the present.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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