Monday, June 11, 2012

Reflections on John Anthony West's Phoenixfire 10

John Anthony West's Official Site
John Anthony West's Phoenixfireblog.

Magical Egypt, a Symbolist tour.
John Anthony West
(created by Chance Gardner with original music by Geraint Hughes).

E1-The Invisible Science
E2-The Old Kingdom and the Still Older Kingdom

This episode labelled as Unexplained Egypt
E4-The Temple inMan

Magical Egypt, a Symbolist tour.
E5-Navigating the Afterlife
[This is spectacular! A must see!]

[The Masonically connected bearded gentleman in this series, though he may bear a striking resemblance to me, is not related to me in any way that I know of.]

Serpent in the Sky by John Anthony West.
The Mystery of the Spinx documentary. Both available here.

Taking a departure from the usual subject matter of this blog, I offer my reflections on the latest report from John Anthony West, who though we haven't been in direct contact for a number of years, remains someone I certainly regard as a friend and curiously perhaps also a mentor. Well, he made quite an impression on me, and still does.

The first half of his 10th Phoenixfire podcast is about Egypt (yes, he and his “grockles” were there during the revolution), a place that has 83 million people, but according to John can only support maybe 50 million comfortably. John doesn't seem to think much can be done except to perhaps let Nature take its course, though he may have other ideas he didn't share. John describes as best he can what can only be experienced in person in Egypt. Likely only those who can afford to do it with John Anthony West, and some have come along with him on his trips to Egypt several times, will ever get to see it the way he does and has for most of his life. Regrettably, I never went on one of his trips.

I like reminding people that as much as we read, write and study, there is no possible comparable equivalent to actual personal experience, which often defies our ability to convey in mere words. I believe this is true for those taking up the piano too (or any other musical instrument), or for those who genuinely immerse themselves in any of the formidable arts, including the preparation of the best cuisine (of which, I might add, John West is certainly above competent). One can talk all one wants about a particular experience, even if one has per chance experienced something as a spectator, an audience, a diner, a tourist, but until one makes a commitment to experience something personally, to take real notice with all one's faculties, one is only usually granted the dismissive status of a dilettante (doubtless on a number of subjects, I am one).

John then takes up some of the trends being followed by Gerald Celente and his staff at the Trends Research Institute, of which John is in fact a senior member, perhaps even Celente's éminence grise (Gerald is uniquely fortunate if this is the case). John blends these trends with continuing his exposé of what happened many centuries ago in Egypt concerning the Sphinx. He brings up Zep Tepi, 'The First Time' and how this archeological discovery brings us back to how old the Sphinx really is and what this means concerning the abilities of people in ancient civilizations and frankly reconnecting us with our important and forgotten past. It isn't likely that the standard accepted histories are going to be sustained in veracity by the outcome of these studies either.

I was always in agreement with John concerning what he describes as the “Church of Progress” and was able to understand his objections to this zeitgeist based on my own personal experiences of great music from the past, none of which could have or would have been written today. Anyway, John tracks back into describing the Comstock Load in Nevada and some “preferred” investor looking to re-open the mining there. What he expects, and it is true, is that no matter what happens to the “system” and hence to the economy, precious metals will hold up their value over other assets as the present system tilts toward inevitable collapse. John is interested in using investments in this enterprise to help micro-finance his research / film making project on Zep Tepi. He expects to improve on his earlier documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx.

What's very important about John's work is that it stands athwart the usual academic / scientific guesses about the history of ancient civilizations and of ancient man. It's not difficult to appreciate that many, probably most, have been fooled into ascribing to our present society a degree of “progress” which it does not deserve. Their tendency has been to diminish the civilizations of the past as inferior to our own, when it could have been precisely the opposite of the actual truth. Indeed one begins to wonder whether life as a common person in ancient Egypt might not have have been just as fulfilling as living as a common person in the modern world.

It is possible that modern civilization has lost much of significance by failing to understand and take seriously the viewpoints of those whom it regarded as retarded or inferior in their development or in need of special expertise from Western societies; the powerful means to specify either absorption or annihilation as the only possible choices for these people. We are blinded by our own viewpoints which fail to recognize that the experience of others just might teach us something of value, perhaps even of inestimable value, as for instance the herbalism of primitive peoples. For the interested, I recommend The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby.

Materialist science, which has been largely the creation of the commercial forces in what we like to call Western civilization, has blinded us to what can only be personally experienced and often using quite different techniques, involving memes, symbols, frames of reference, semantic meaning, inherited experiences, etc. We have in this process, as it were, accepted the means as synonymous with the ends, which is like expecting a map to be the equal of the actual journey, and therefore have accepted a method for truth without acknowledging that much, perhaps most truth, is only accessible and verifiable outside the chosen method. It's actually worse than that, as many so called “scientists” are willing to do their share of shoehorning data (even actually destroying artifacts that “don't belong” where they are found) to support preconceived ideas which are not truth, though they may be accepted as such by the general public. 

Of course we need to be ever vigilant against an automatic belief response to a scientific community that is, like it or not, financially supported by governments and organizations with certain preconceived notions they want the science to support or confirm. If I have not said it at least a hundred times now, I state it again; the “feet of clay” of what we like to suppose is a thoroughly grounded Western scientific tradition is ... what it chooses to study. If it were not for someone's money interest, usually a government (pressured into spending the money through some contrivance of doing the public good through special privilege enrichment) or a corporation or perhaps a venture capitalist, no science per se would ever get done.

I accept my fair share of responsibility for dilettantism, though I offer in defence the following assertion; that the more specialized one becomes in whatever discipline or chosen technique, the less one is able to participate in or personally experience the otherwise unseen and unknowable connections between the specifics and gain a larger picture of reality the way it must be lived from day to day, which as far as anyone knows may be the only valid reality.

In closing, and maybe it's fitting, well, it's his birthday actually; I've decided to close this post with a “classic” performance of Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklarung), Op. 24 by Richard Strauss (1864-1949):
[PART 1]
[PART 2]

Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, (1972) in one of those fabulous recordings he made seemingly for all time. (This one sure sounds good on headphones!)


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