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.
7/28/2014 04:28:47 am
>> "ancient Egyptian women told stories of a Golden Age 65,000 years ago when women ruled with wisdom and compassion through vibrations."
7/28/2014 08:06:20 am
Years ago, one of my mother's friends made a joke about a victorian era, coal-powered vibrator.
7/28/2014 11:48:29 am
7/28/2014 11:49:36 am
<from an undisclosed relic circa 69,000 years ago> "Matriarch's Creed: Everything is legitimate, nothing is ridiculous"
7/28/2014 03:10:23 pm
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn
7/28/2014 10:20:42 am
>>>>As for why crystals, why "super mind powers"
7/28/2014 06:35:25 am
Hunter gatherers are bad because killing animals isn't harmony with nature, man! We're supposed to sit down and meditate with them and give them hugs. Even the toothy ones.
7/28/2014 06:50:36 am
They've tried "proving" it every now and then... sometimes you end up with ridiculous things like Kirlian photography, other times you just get a gaggle of New Agers ranting about how our "science" doesn't "get it" because we're "not opening ourselves up to it".
7/28/2014 09:59:32 am
>>>sometimes you end up with ridiculous things like Kirlian photography
7/28/2014 09:48:19 am
>>>If you know you're Creationism
7/28/2014 06:50:15 am
"But suppose that our natural tendency is to cooperate and live with each other in a state of peace and harmony. . ."
7/28/2014 08:01:06 am
And it was hardly "unburdened by state bureaucracy".
7/28/2014 10:13:43 am
>>>warfare and conflict are fundamental aspects of human life
7/28/2014 11:52:32 am
... and virtually every other sufficiently developed human organization / civilization, regardless of religious particularities.
7/28/2014 12:10:16 pm
But the Papacy was allegedly pacifist
An Over-Educated Grunt
7/28/2014 12:16:46 pm
Funny how you never mention, say, the Ikko monks in Japan, or the division of the world by the Caliphate into the Faithful and all who must be converted, by the sword if need be, or how the Shaolin Temple was demolished because it was perceived as a military threat, or how the US government's "Department of Defense" has waged more overseas wars than the "War Department" ever did, or how the Delphic oracle actively profited off of every conflict in its sphere by promising both sides victory in vague ways.
7/28/2014 12:28:37 pm
7/28/2014 05:44:45 pm
"you'd be well served to give more thought to your claims"
7/29/2014 02:43:52 am
And wars were fought over crystals when the wives (and other assorted influentual woman) of tribal leaders noticed and complained that the tribe down the river had more beautiful and sparkly crystals than their own, and demanded something be down about it. The men, not wanting to be cut off from a desirable source of pleasure, begrudgingly sharpened their blades and set out for conquest. Got to make momma happy. Always.
7/28/2014 07:58:58 am
The Bronze Age was a period of time in which people lived in harmony without bureaucracy - really! I mean really!!
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
7/28/2014 08:36:11 am
Well, Wyatt is reviving a very old tradition of nostalgia for the Bronze Age, seen most famously in the first work the "Western" literary tradition. But according to that work, the Bronze Age was a better time because men were stronger and better at slaughtering each other in hand-to-hand combat. One need only read the Iliad to see how far "Western" culture has gone from its origins, and how brutal those origins were. Aside from the scene with Priam in Achilles' tent, most of the poem feels profoundly at odds with modern values.
7/28/2014 10:22:01 am
I agree that Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are nostalgic. But they are nostalgic for an heroic age that never really existed for real. Homer places certain archaic features in his Heroic world, such as Bronze, (Although iron creeps in in places.) However over all the social and political world of the poems is not by a long shot the world of the Mycenaeans. We have in the Linear B tablets a inside look of the actual bureaucratic social nature of the Mycenaean world and it is not the Heroic gift giving society of the Poems. In terms of social reality if the poems reflect a real society at all it is the "Heroic" society of the late Greek Dark Ages. What Homer seems to have done is to project Heroic values back to the very dimly remembered Mycenaean period where they largely didn't exist. The reason is seems to be is that the Greeks of his day could understand the "Heroic" values emphasized in the poems. The actual social mores, and social practice of the Mycenaean palace culture would have struck them as largely incomprehensible. I also rather doubt that the Greeks of Homer's time had much information concerning the Mycenaean age to begin with.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
7/28/2014 10:37:59 am
Then Wyatt has accomplished quite a feat by having an even less realistic picture of the Bronze Age.
7/28/2014 12:18:10 pm
Indeed. And she even managed to do it without bringing in aliens.
7/28/2014 09:07:07 am
She seems to be drawing at least partially from the same well as several of my high school teachers from way back when. They were very fond of pushing an idea of ancient matriarchies around the world that were inherently peaceful and harmonious due to their reverence of the woman, until they were overthrown by men.
7/28/2014 11:01:16 am
Funny, I was thinking the same thing. (It reminded me of some of my high school teachers, I mean.)
7/28/2014 11:15:43 am
Triple Goddess, phases of the moon, wisdom in darkness - all very close to something very famous and recognisable on a daily basis
Steve in SoDak
7/28/2014 12:21:20 pm
If the world were run by the women I know, there would be no outright war, just petty backstabbing, rumor mills running non-stop and endless drama over things that are invented in order to have something to complain about. the thought makes me cringe.
7/28/2014 12:28:58 pm
"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?"
7/28/2014 12:37:17 pm
And Virgin Mobile!... and isn't he trying to fund a "Space Taxi" now?
7/28/2014 01:16:45 pm
I think Jason was talking about the fringe writers' presupposition that their audience has knowledge of all the various fringe topics. I guess if by knowledge Jason means awareness (as opposed to any relevant learning), it does make sense. (Though even awareness need not go beyond unconcious association, which is the point I was trying to make.)
7/28/2014 01:51:24 pm
Yes, I meant only that it supposes, for example, that someone interested in Atlantis would also be aware of crystal mysticism and the Templar mysteries. There seems to be a sort of assumption that someone interested in fringe ideas is interested in a wide variety of fringe topics.
7/28/2014 02:20:12 pm
Doesn't even have to be that... Oftentimes it's just desire to be all things to all people.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
7/28/2014 02:46:59 pm
The fringe theorist communities on separate subjects have been coalescing into one for a long time now. You've studied a lot of the steps in the process yourself, Jason, like The Morning of the Magicians, which (correct me if I'm wrong) was the first book to throw a lot of traditional esotericism and conspiracy theory in the same pot with ancient astronauts.
7/28/2014 02:57:44 pm
New Age and related nonsense were pretty integral to the leftist fringe since at least the 1960s. Many of the most prominent names in the Black Power movement, for example, held views much like those regularly discussed by Jason. Ditto for some of the wackier communist groups in Latin America. And the connection between the present article and the feminist Goddess movement has already been mentioned.
Not the Comte de Saint Germain
7/28/2014 03:09:12 pm
Interesting. The connection between the hippie left and the New Age is obvious, but I'm not sure what you're talking about with Black Panthers (Afrocentrism?), much less Latin American Communists. Can you elaborate? (This history-of-dumb-ideas stuff is the most interesting part of the blog for me.)
7/28/2014 03:16:13 pm
Black Power, etc.: Elijah Mohammad, Louis Farrakhan, William Karenga, the "Black Athena" guy... These are just off the top of my head.
7/28/2014 03:51:43 pm
7/28/2014 03:58:17 pm
The two are not mutually exclusive. Just because Himmler was into some weird shit, doesn't mean he didn't also think it makes for great propaganda. Same goes for these people. I can't think of anyone I have a reason to think is a thoroughgoing liar.
7/28/2014 01:26:46 pm
"...Everything is vibration; everything exists in waveform"
7/28/2014 01:33:22 pm
Please tell us more about how string theory "ties everything together". Also, what it has to do with fictional Egyptian matriarchical cults from tens of thousands of years ago or with how Bronze Age was a time of peace and harmony.
7/28/2014 02:27:35 pm
I think that was a metaphysics joke. Made me laugh, anyway.
7/28/2014 02:31:10 pm
I confess that reading "using her brane" did make me disinclined to be charitable... :)
7/28/2014 02:43:04 pm
Yeah, I laughed at the second sentence, then had to backtrack and look up "brane" since I figured it wasn't a mistake. Can't imagine why there aren't more metaphysics jokes.
An Over-Educated Grunt
7/28/2014 02:47:25 pm
It's a series of puns.
7/28/2014 02:48:26 pm
Not sure why you keep calling it a metaphysics rather than physics, though...
7/28/2014 03:01:34 pm
That's just how I've always heard String Theory defined since there are no testable predictions. It can't be called physics without that. I see now there's no consensus. There are reasons it isn't either phsics or metaphysics.
7/28/2014 03:07:49 pm
Well... physicists (including those who think it's stupid and false) tend to think it's physics...
7/28/2014 03:22:19 pm
If there are testable predictions, then it's physics. But there seems to be a lot of hope that there may be in the future, which is why it shouldn't be called metaphysics, but there are none right now, which is why it isn't physics.
7/28/2014 03:37:34 pm
No, there totally are testable predictions right now! I don't want to go into it too much, but the only sense it could be said to not be testable is the same as that in which some parts of Newton's phsyics weren't testable when Newton wrote his Principia.
7/28/2014 03:45:53 pm
7/28/2014 03:47:30 pm
Also, what EP said.
7/28/2014 04:07:08 pm
It's not me deciding what to call it on my own, or deciding on my own if there are testable predictions.
7/28/2014 04:15:45 pm
What part of the first page of results is popular journalism or other popular treatments? How reliable are such sources when it comes to properly using terms like "testable", etc.?
7/28/2014 04:22:34 pm
Ed Witten's particles are very very tiny.
7/28/2014 04:33:16 pm
You really need to remember to take your medication, man...
7/28/2014 04:38:11 pm
Well, I agree there's a consensus that it will hopefully be testable one day. But as I said, I get the impression from some physicists that they won't call it physics until there are results. Your disagreement is with them.
7/28/2014 04:42:40 pm
There is a cottage industry of creationists arguing that Darwinian evolutionary theory isn't real science because it supposedly doesn't produce testable predictions... Just something to think about :)
7/28/2014 04:46:07 pm
Gregor, I didn't intend to be disingenuous by calling it metaphysics. That's just what I was taught in school, very briefly I might add. Some phycisists do seem to still call it that, perhaps mockingly, but the consensus seems to be that the term "metaphysics" is used for things that will never be testable, which doesn't accurately describe string theory.
7/28/2014 04:48:46 pm
Yes, I didn't read the Google results from the journalists but I did read all of them from physicists, and I got the distinct impression some are waiting anxiously for string theory to be declared bunk.
7/28/2014 04:49:59 pm
EP ---- i was defending your take on physics...
7/28/2014 04:55:09 pm
Walt, for what it's worth that's where I thought you were coming from. But in the context of discussing New Age stuff it carries wrong connotations...
7/28/2014 05:06:22 pm
Ah, nope, I wasn't coming from anywhere in particular. I've just always heard string theory described as metaphysics. I don't even remember the teacher who introduced it, but I'm pretty sure I didn't even take a physics class, so she probably wasn't a physicist.
7/28/2014 05:18:29 pm
Wanna talk about something else, then? :)
7/28/2014 05:20:51 pm
Ed Witten's ideas = perceptive scientific hypothesis
7/28/2014 05:25:36 pm
Heh, well, I think "." was trying to address your original question about matriarchical cults and the "peaceful" Bronze Age, all while agreeing with your physics, so that might be an interesting conversation for you to have. ;-)
7/28/2014 05:29:42 pm
Why the hell would anyone want to talk to "."?
7/28/2014 05:38:47 pm
I sort of grasp what he's getting at, especially the last one. Unfortunately, I think one has to know about the topics in his messages in advance, to understand what he's saying.
7/28/2014 05:43:05 pm
Hint: It doesn't. No more than the Templars relate to the Masons :)
7/28/2014 05:49:32 pm
Scary. There must be a method to the madness.
7/28/2014 06:01:06 pm
7/28/2014 06:16:09 pm
Thanks for those links. I've saved the list and plan to read most of them. A couple look really interesting to me, and if they make sense, I might read them all. So, thanks.
7/28/2014 05:34:05 pm
Uncle Ron's joke was indeed very droll in light of EP's discomfort...
7/28/2014 05:38:24 pm
The years in the Bronze Age when major wars did not happen
7/28/2014 05:45:43 pm
Nah, Uncle Ron's joke was as clever as a physics joke about fringe topics can be. I drew EP's ire by referring to string theory as metaphysics.
7/28/2014 05:52:00 pm
No ire. I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page :)
7/28/2014 06:23:52 pm
his joke could solicit a belly laugh out of a student on the M.I.T
7/28/2014 06:44:53 pm
I understood everything you just said! :)
7/28/2014 06:54:46 pm
"Music of the Spheres" is the alternative phrase but that
7/29/2014 02:49:26 am
7/28/2014 03:27:30 pm
"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."
7/28/2014 06:43:51 pm
7/30/2014 02:36:36 pm
Natural, given Theosophy's worldview and values.
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