Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A quick point on ancient aliens

Ok, Jack wrote something that needs to be said and understood about the Ancient Aliens movement. He raises a massive issue that really needs to be addressed, and not in the Ancient Astronaut crowd specifically, but in my sphere, your sphere, and every magician's sphere.

One of the arguments the Ancient Astronaut crowd often puts forward is that "If we could just barely do it today with all our advanced technology, how could those primitive tribes have possibly managed it?" In this argument, "primitive" doesn't just refer to the technology, the tools they have, but also to their minds, their intellectual capacity. Modern folk start with the assumption that because we know more about how the world works, our intellectual capacity is therefore much greater than those primitives.

It's not. The human brain hasn't changed much in the last 10,000 years. Advanced maths and sciences might not have existed back then, or they might have, but the brains we have today performing complex astronomical calculations are the same brains they had back then. The difference was the level of technology and the level of effort increase because they didn't have machines to do the work. They had slaves. They could look at the world and figure out how to drain a swamp and build a pyramid, as Jack points out.

Modern brains are not better adapted to processing higher maths than the brains of the people 10,000 years ago. The pyramids prove it. We tend to think you can't do advanced geometry without a scientific calculator, but we're wrong. They were doing complex equations with sticks and rope, and modern folk have the audacity to say they weren't smart enough to build the pyramids. Whatever, dumbass.

But the Ancient Astronaut core belief is that human beings have been visited by extra-terrestrial entities across time who brought advanced technological and other inspirational ideas. That fundamental belief is something I agree with entirely, I just don't think they were physical aliens in space ships. I think they were the same spirits that bring us things like Enochian systems of Magic.


  1. While being staunchly open-minded and not ruling out anything, and being one who thoroughly enjoys mulling over the possibility of Ancient Aliens, I find the yugas theory of Joseph Selbie ( to be the most plausible explanation for all the historical "anachronisms".

    However, when looking at the issue of Aliens specifically, I tend to favor the inter-dimensional postulation over the in-a-galaxy-far-far-away one.

    But I certainly am not arrogant enough to think that we're the only intelligent civilization in the Universe, or that somewhere there's not a civilization so incredibly technologically &/or spiritually advanced that space/time is no longer a restriction or challenge for them.

    My personal vote, though, is for the Yugas theory. :)

  2. I have always found the idea of Ancient Aliens and the idea that ancient peoples being "primitive" to degrade the human potential. It is of upmost arrogance to assume that the ancients were "dumber" than we are when in fact their philosophy, architecture, and knowledge was actually quite impressive. Or that they were only able to accomplish what they were because of aliens.

    I also have a hard time with people like Hancock and Daniken--their theories are more often than not built off of shoddy evidence and a weak understanding of history. They point to things like pictograms and say "see this is a man in a spaceship" not even bothering to actually acknowledge that the people who used the pictogram clearly indicate that it was a symbol for something else entirely.

    What they do is fingerpaint with the evidence. They don't let the evidence speak for itself, but rather approach the past and re-interpret what they see regardless of the culture, or context.

    That isn't to say that I don't believe that there is other life, but rather that I am not of the school of thought that the ancients were only capable of what they were because of aliens.

  3. I love it when I'm in good company on the blogosphere, thanks Devi and Ali for sharing. I've wanted to talk about this before, and touched on it once or twice, but the whole "alien scene" is just fuckin' insane. Like, literally. If they were Christians, they'd be the snake handling kind.

  4. @snake-handling alien-fans: Again, it's because they've forgotten that the U in UFO stands for unidentified.As soon as you say that the UFO is aliens, it's stopped being a UFO and it immediately becomes an unlikely explanation of an event.

    This was the shibboleth that I used to use when testing summoned entities. If they exhibited critical thought of the descriptions, I considered them relatively truthful. Not that I'd go and swap wives or murder people just because an angel or black dog told me to, but it'd be a source at least considering for a moment and testing it against reality. Anything that didn't make sense on the same level, I banished and banished hard.

    It's just a bit obvious in it's mumbo jumbo. I'm preferring the more subtle variety these days...

  5. @Ali - don't forget Sitchin and his inability to even read the source materials he's capitalized on.

    Which is more plausible as a translation: a word that means "deity" and "sky" (depending on context), or "pure ones of the blazing rockets" when it doesn't even fit the rest of the sentence? It's roughly equivalent to translating "σὺ δὲ ὅταν ροσεύχῃ, εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου ρόσευξαι τῷ ατρί σου τῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ ατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυ τῷ ἀοδώσει σοι" as "to talk to God, hie thee hence into a space capsule and make sure you have a good hard vacuum seal." Actually, it's not - I'm not that irrational and manipulative... {BTW - Matthew 6:6}

    Sitchin's not alone - just the best known and most egregious.

  6. Aliens aside, the poisonous idea that we are somehow "better" than our ancestors, simply because we were fortunate enough to have a bigger well of knowledge to draw from, is incredibly pervasive and dates at least back to colonialism. It's really time we moved past such ideas as a race.

  7. I think it's human nature. Plato records the story of Solanus visiting the Egyptians, and being told that the Greeks, because their culture was wiped out so often, had no history that extended back thousands of years like the Egyptians had. Iamblichus' attitude towards Plotinus, the tone he takes is totally, "I'm initiatted into the Mystery Cults, and we do things differently that you wouldn't possibly understand."

    I think the modern racism is a reflection of that basic human trait, the way we classify other people in groups, and then think our group is the best and every other group is less good. It's probably hardwired into genes for survival purposes, loyalty to your tribe is a strong evolutionary trait.

    Like all such traits, it can be harnessed, refined, and turned to a higher purpose, it just takes being aware of who you are and what your potentials are.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.