Metaconsciousness: Mythology for a Post-Civilized World
II.1 | Contents | II.3
Our contemporary culture is rife with tales of "lost worlds," or "lost civilizations," in which the social plagues we endure today almost as a matter of course existed in some "forgotten age," if at all, only as nightmares reserved for a remote and unimaginable future. Names like the Garden of Eden, Atlantis, Lemuria, Avalon, and even the Númenor or Valinor envisioned by J.R.R. Tolkien, spring to mind as realms in which life for humans may at one time not have been riven with such grotesque contradictions and self-destructive social habits as pass for "normal" in contemporary human society. If such a Golden Age actually existed in our "prehistoric past," some contemporary visionaries speculate, might it not someday return? Might we not, even now, be standing upon the cusp of an "Age of Aquarius," wherein war and strife, famine and plagues, will persist only in nightmarish remembrances of a Dark Age finally come to a welcome end?
Our academic and administrative "authorities" reflexively scoff at such notions, and claim stoutly that, no, things-as-they-are are basically as they have always been: that is, humanity has steadily ascended a path of evolutionary improvement, rising out of a prehistoric past of primitive barbarism and savagery to the "high civilization" we enjoy today. And so it shall always be for civilized humans; because, of course (all together now)...
Civilization, that is, as defined by contemporary civilized people, particularly "the authorities" – which is to say the dominator model of civilization, than which there is said to be no other – is claimed to be "the crowning achievement of humanity."
There is abundant evidence, however, in support of the myth of a Golden Age; or at least of an extended period during which peace, not war, was the prevailing human lifestyle. Some of this evidence has already been reviewed.1 At the very least, it must be admitted that the so-called "rise of civilization" has not, contrary to what is still universally taught in kindergartens and graduate schools around the world, been an uninterrupted and steady climb out of "prehistoric barbarism." There have been extraordinary achievements, and major setbacks in human history: either atavistic reversals of what any reasonable observer might call "progress," or a mysterious "parallel thread" of human development which is difficult to integrate within a coherent chronology of human events.
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One line of evidence for this was developed in the 1960s by an undergraduate science teacher in Keene, New Hampshire, by the name of Charles Hapgood.2 Briefly, the story is that Hapgood's attention was drawn to a peculiar 16th century map of known provenance, made in Constantinople in the year 1513 by a Turkish admiral of the name Piri Re'is. One of the peculiarities of the Piri Re'is Map is that in addition to the western coast of Africa, and the eastern coast of South America, it also displays a surprisingly accurate rendering of the Queen Maud Land coast of Antarctica – yet the continent was first sighted in historic times 30 January 1820, by British Naval officers William Smith and Edward Bransfield, the first humans known to have seen the Antarctic Peninsula.3 Hapgood's investigation further disclosed many features represented on the Piri Re'is Map to be located with an accuracy entirely beyond the capabilities of any geographer, cartographer, or navigator living during the 16th century, or in any prior historical period.
What is particularly remarkable about the accuracy of the Piri Re'is Map is that in order to represent on a flat map the relative positions of geographic features on a spherical Earth, some highly sophisticated spherical trigonometry is required – as well as the navigational ability to derive a longitude in relation to a known Prime Meridian. Today, the Prime Meridian, upon which all global navigation and cartography are based, runs from pole to pole through Greenwich, England. The Prime Meridian for the Piri Re'is Map was found to run instead through Alexandria, Egypt.
In either case, the essential technology for taking a longitude anywhere on the face of the Earth is an accurate seagoing chronometer, so that it can be known at a remote location exactly what time it is along the Prime Meridian.4 The first chronometer in historical times to achieve this accuracy was demonstrated in 1761, an instrument created by the English clockmaker, John Harrison.5 Before that date, it was not possible for any civilized navigator or cartographer to determine the longitude of any point on the Earth remote from the Prime Meridian; hence it was not possible to represent accurately on a map the relative positions of two or more remote points on the globe.6 How then is one to account for the accuracy of the Piri Re'is Map? Additionally, how did Antarctica, "first discovered" in the year 1820, come to be accurately outlined on a map made in 1513? These and related mysteries Charles Hapgood set before his History of Science class at Keene College.
Fortuitously, one of Hapgood's students happened to be attached in a Reserve capacity to the Strategic Air Command 8th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron, Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts; and Hapgood's student interested his commanding officer in the puzzle posed by the Peri Re'is Map. This stimulated much invaluable high-quality (off-duty) technical assistance with the project. Maps and cartography were central to the mission of this particular SAC unit, and Hapgood published in his book letters from the unit's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Harold Z. Ohlmeyer, and the Chief, Cartographic Section, Capt. Lorenzo W. Burroughs, soberly endorsing the striking conclusions of Hapgood's investigation.7
In the course of their research, Hapgood and his students discovered that the Piri Re'is Map was not unique in its peculiar property of possessing unaccountable accuracy. There are relatively many such 16th century maps in existence in various libraries around the world, and they go generically by the label, portolano charts: charts that were actually used during the 16th century for physical navigation in the global exploration then under way. Hapgood and his students investigated a number of these portolano charts, and confirmed their uncanny accuracy, which could in no way be accounted for by the geographic knowledge available anywhere on Earth during the period they were made, or at any prior historical date. A number of these charts, like the Pere Re'is Map, also accurately represented the Antarctic coast – strikingly, as ice-free, with mountains and fluid river valleys indicated where such features were in fact discovered to be hidden underneath the mile-thick continental glacier.8
The portolano charts were evidently compiled from cartographic sources extant in the 16th century, which have since been lost. Where did this accurate cartographic knowledge originate? Where and when were people present with the technical ability to map the Earth accurately, including an Antarctic continent with ice-free shores and running coastal rivers? Who were these people, and when did they live?
Little can be said about them or their culture, other than that they demonstrably possessed a level of sophistication and technical competence which enabled them to map the Earth with an accuracy not achievable again before the middle of the 18th century of the Common Era. Hapgood even encountered a map, said to have been graven in stone during the 12th century in China which, granting allowances for minor plausible changes in the course of major Chinese river systems over the passage of thousands of years, accurately represented the interior of China.
Hapgood was driven to the conclusion that there had dwelled upon the Earth at some "prehistoric" date a people with accurate geographic knowledge of the entire planet. That they mapped Antarctica at a time when its shores were unencumbered by ice, and rivers flowed in its valleys, places them at the latest in a time zone more than 6,000 years ago, during the fifth millennium B.C.E., the latest period contemporary geologists believe the Antarctic coast could have been free of ice.9 In that age, the "first civilizations" recognized by contemporary historians, Sumer and pharaonic Egypt, would not make their appearance for at least another thousand years.
Therefore, although stubbornly denied, or resolutely ignored by contemporary "authorities," there exists palpable evidence in support of myths of a "prehistoric" Golden Age; i.e. of a period of human tenure upon this planet during which cultural attainments were reached which were far in advance of those achieved by the "first civilizations" recognized by contemporary anthropology. There is evidence, in other words, for a significant – possibly even a catastrophic – reversal of the alleged "steady progress" of civilization. Or if not that, then possibly there has been an "overlay," for a time, of an entirely different cultural / technological "strand" which had very little or nothing to do with the orderly evolution of the historically recorded civilizations which sprang from their Paleolithic and Neolithic roots. In any case, we cannot have a clear understanding of who we are without an unobstructed view of our past.
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The evidence of the unaccountable accuracy of the portolano charts documented by Charles Hapgood, and associates, constitutes a "smoking gun" which unequivocally belies the conventionally accepted mythology of the course of human progress on planet Earth. There are other such "smoking guns," consisting of physical evidence documented by other investigators, and available today for verification by anyone with the interest and tenacity to follow them up. A fertile field for such evidence is to be found in Egypt, in association with the (alleged) monumental "tombs of the Pharaohs" Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure 10 on the Giza Plateau opposite Cairo, and other ancient monuments located further up the Nile.
Invoking "the tombs of the Pharaohs" in this connection threatens to delve into an enormous can of worms in which passions run high on all sides of many mutually contradictory arguments that have been open in some cases since the time of the Greek historian Herodotus (-485 to -425). Here, we will restrict ourselves to consideration of physical evidence only, and to inferences which may be unambiguously drawn from such evidence.
To begin, it is a historical fact, evidently, that the "official" identity of the three main Pyramids on the Giza Plateau with the Fourth Dynasty Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure (-2575 to -2467) dates from Herodotus's visit to Egypt; during which he asked about the significance of the three Pyramids, and recorded in The History the answer he was given. It is the same answer students in kindergartens and grad schools around the world are given today, in response to the same question.
Herodotus saw the monuments in the fifth century BC [writes Graham Hancock], more than 2000 years after they had been built. Nevertheless it was largely on the foundation of his testimony that the entire subsequent judgment of history was based. All other commentators, up to the present, continued uncritically to follow in the Greek historian's footsteps. And down the ages – although it had originally been little more than hearsay – the attribution of the Great Pyramid to Khufu, the Second Pyramid to Khafre and the Third Pyramid to Menkaure had assumed the stature of unassailable fact.11
Aside from the testimony of Herodotus, there never has been any decisive evidence linking an Egyptian pyramid with its architect, or with a particular historic or prehistoric period. The Giza Pyramids are singularly reticent about their builders, bearing within them a conspicuous lack of inscriptions, or decorations of any kind, giving the slightest clue as to who built them, when, or why. The mummified remains of a pharaoh have never been found within an Egyptian pyramid; nor have there ever been found funerary objects of any kind within an Egyptian pyramid – with the exception of interred remains dating from thousands of years after the Pyramid Age.
The story is naturally more complex than I am indicating here, but we will not dwell upon it further. Instead, we will pass on to physical evidence which is substantial, well documented, and although it falls far short of making the mysteries of the Pyramids crystal-clear, does lead to at least some unambiguous conclusions.
One of the early, and certainly one of the most painstaking investigators of the mysteries of the Pyramids was the Englishman, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853 to 1942). Petrie made exceptionally thorough measurements of the Pyramids, and recorded his measurements with meticulous care. One of the extraordinary features of the Pyramids disclosed by Petrie's records, repeatedly remarked upon by investigators from his day to ours, is the astonishing precision with which the Pyramids – and particularly the Great Pyramid, allegedly the tomb of Khufu, or Cheops – were constructed: a precision difficult to reconcile with their alleged purpose as tombs.
The base of the Great Pyramid, to begin with, occupies a 13-acre square which has been found, corner to corner, to be within 0.875 of an inch of perfectly level. This extraordinary precision must have been achieved before the first stone was ever put in place; yet why (never mind how) was such precision attempted in anticipation of a mausoleum for a reigning monarch? This is only the beginning of the Great Pyramid's extraordinary and inexplicable precision.
One of the many intriguing features of the Great Pyramid is a Descending Passage, which begins at the surface in the middle of the north face, and descends at a precise angle through 150 feet of surrounding masonry, to and into the bedrock underlying the Pyramid. The Descending Passage continues an additional 200 feet at exactly the same angle through solid bedrock, until it levels out as a short passage terminated by a Subterranean Chamber directly beneath the apex of the Pyramid. The 350-foot length of the Descending Passage is within ¼ inch of being perfectly straight; and the 150-foot section above bedrock is within 0.020 inch of being perfectly straight.12
This Descending Passage was the first discovered of the Great Pyramid's internal system of passages, chambers, and galleries, by Caliph Al Mamun around the year 820. Failing to find an external entrance to the Pyramid, Al Mamun employed brute force to bore his way straight into the mountain of mostly limestone masonry, mainly by building fires against the stones, then dousing them with vinegar, and chipping out the resulting rubble. The story is that after tunneling for what seemed like forever, and on the verge of abandoning the project in despair, Al Mamun's workers heard a muffled sound within the Pyramid, and directed renewed effort in its apparent direction. They eventually broke through to the Descending Passage; but their hopes for hidden treasures were dashed when they found the passage empty, terminating in an equally empty Subterranean Chamber.
Closer examination of the Descending Passage, however, disclosed the bottom of what turned out to be the bottommost of three granite plugs blocking the entrance to another passage. The granite was too hard for a direct attack, so Al Mamun's workers tunneled around the three obstructing granite plugs, and entered the Ascending Passage; which intersected in turn with a Horizontal Passage leading to what has been called the Queen's Chamber; a mysterious Well Shaft, which descends a somewhat circuitous route to rejoin the Descending Passage in the bedrock far beneath the Pyramid; a Grand Gallery, surely by itself one of the most spectacular architectural achievements on Earth, continuing the ascent of the Ascending Passage; and terminating in an Antechamber, followed by what has been called the King's Chamber in the very heart of the Great Pyramid. From that day to this, countless tourists have followed Al Mamun's route into the inmost mysteries of the Pyramid.
In none of these passages, chambers, and galleries, it needs to be repeated, nor in any others explored later, were the mummified remains of any Egyptian "kings" or "queens" ever discovered. Nor were any funerary treasures or artifacts ever found; although what has been called a Sarcophagus, hewn from a single block of solid granite, was, and remains, the singular furnishing of the otherwise empty so-called King's Chamber.
An intriguing feature of the Great Pyramid, which has received scant attention by conventional Egyptologists, is the fact that the peculiar junction of the Ascending and Descending Passages is mysteriously reproduced in stone near the Great Pyramid. This juncture, called the Trial Passages, duplicates with astonishing accuracy about a hundred yards to its east in the bedrock upon which the Pyramid rests, the actual juncture of the Ascending and Descending Passages, constructed in masonry within Pyramid. Petrie examined the Trial Passages with meticulous care, and compared them with their counterpart in the Pyramid.
About 28 feet up the Trial Passages counterpart to the Ascending Passage is a shallow excavation which may hint at the beginning of the Horizontal Passage in the actual Pyramid; but it doesn't go anywhere. Additionally, the Trial Passages excavation bears a feature which it does not share with its counterpart within the Pyramid: a vertical shaft which intersects with the junction of the Ascending and Descending Passages. Also, the granite plugs which obstruct the actual Ascending Passage are not present in the Trial Passages. Otherwise, the dimensional similarities between the two junctions are remarkably close, and render improbable the conventional Egyptological speculation that the Trial Passages were intended as a "practice run" to perfect in advance the techniques that would be required to build the Pyramid. Aside from the fact that the Trial Passages are hewn through solid bedrock, while their counterpart in the Pyramid are constructed in masonry; the quality, assurance, and deliberate intent manifest in the Trial Passages demonstrate that the Pyramid Builders, whoever they were, had already perfected their techniques, and were in no need of "practice." The Trial Passages' actual purpose, however, remains one of the many lingering mysteries of the Pyramid.13
The so-called Sarcophagus in the so-called King's Chamber, and other "sarcophagi" elsewhere, present abundant evidence for unconventional re-interpretations of what generally goes under the name of "historical fact" in ancient Egypt. The "historical fact" commonly accepted without question among Egyptologists is that the most advanced tools available to the ancient Egyptians were made of copper, and were wielded by hand. However, the physical facts a) that there exists no copper alloy, then or now, hard enough to cut granite; and b) the granite box in the King's Chamber was somehow hewn from a single block of stone – seem to contradict the "official facts."
It so happens that the granite box in the King's Chamber still retains marks that provide clues as to how it was cut; and these clues were noted more than a century ago by Sir William Petrie. The box was shaped, in part, by saws which left their imprint in the stone.
On the N. end [of the coffer, Petrie wrote] is a place, near the west side, where the saw was run too deep into the granite, and was backed out again by the masons; but this fresh start they made still too deep, and two inches lower they backed out a second time, having cut out more than .10 inch deeper than they had intended....14
Christopher Dunn, an experienced industrialist and machinist, argues persuasively that such an error could have been made only by craftsmen wielding powered machinery, and not by someone sawing the stone by hand. He informs us that contemporary wire quarrying saws using silicon-carbide grit, which is hard enough to cut through the quartz crystals embedded in granite, are able to cut through the stone "like it is butter,"15 and it is quite credible that the Pyramid Builders using such equipment might easily have erred and overshot their intended mark as described by Petrie. This could never have happened, however, had they been cutting the stone exclusively with hand-powered tools; for their progress would then have been so slow that they could not credibly have overshot their mark by a tenth of an inch. Having done so twice indicates the use of powered machinery to cut the stone.
If this notion seems too astounding to be credible, it gets worse. Not only was the granite box in the King's Chamber shaped to its outside dimensions by powered saws, its inside was hollowed out by means of powered tube drills; and here too errors reveal the speed with which these tools cut into the stone.
On the E. inside is a portion of a tube-drill hole remaining [Petrie wrote], where they had tilted the drill over into the side by not working it vertically. They tried hard to polish away all that part, and took off about 1/10 inch thickness all around it; but still they had to leave the side of the hole 1/10 deep, 3 long, and 1.3 wide; the bottom of it is 8 or 9 below the original top of the coffer. They made a similar error on the N. inside, but of a much less extent.16
A tube drill is something like the hole-saws contemporary woodworkers use to cut holes for doorknobs, etc. It consists of a tube with cutting teeth or abrasive grit embedded around the perimeter of the tube at one end, which cuts a circular groove to increasing depth, leaving a solid core which is later knocked out and removed. Petrie found and illustrated numerous examples of such holes and cores cut in stone, and was astounded to note in one instance that the spiral groove cut by the tool descended into the granite at a feed rate of 0.10 inch per rotation of the tool.
Petrie's astonishment was well founded. The standard feed rate for cutting similar holes in granite by contemporary machinery rotating diamond-tipped drills at 900 revolutions per minute is five minutes per inch of penetration; which works out to 0.0002 inch per rotation of the tool. How the Pyramid Builders achieved a cutting rate 500 times faster than that of contemporary leading-edge machinery is another of the many mysteries of the Pyramids.17
The marks in the stone reveal that the Pyramid Builders' standard method for hollowing out a block of granite to make an empty box consisted of cutting rows and rows of tangent cylindrical grooves to a desired depth, knocking out the resulting cores, and the diamond-shaped webs between the resulting shafts, and then grinding smooth the cusp ridges along the perimeter of the resulting hollow.
After an illustration in Dunn, 1998, p.80.
In the illustration, the cylindrical grooves are orange, the cores and the webs between them are blue, and the cusps are green. When finished, what remains is an empty granite box with smooth bottom and four sides, rust in the illustration.
Not having convenient access to the granite box in the King's Chamber while he was in Egypt, Christopher Dunn physically measured the smoothness and flatness of the granite box in the bedrock chamber beneath the Second Pyramid (allegedly of Khafre) by means of a precision machinist's parallel: a ¼ inch thick steel bar 6 inches long, with edges ground to within 0.0002 of an inch of being perfectly straight, flat, and parallel. By climbing into the granite box and holding his parallel against its inside surface, and shining a flashlight behind the juncture of box and parallel, Dunn was able to observe any deviation from perfect flatness in the surface of the box. He found none. No light leaked between Dunn's parallel and the surface of the granite box at any point. At no place within the box was Dunn able to detect a deviation from perfect flatness.18
The inside of a huge granite box had been finished off to an accuracy that modern manufacturers reserve for precision surface plates [Dunn writes]. How did the ancient Egyptians achieve this? And why did they do it? Why did they find that box so important that they would go to such trouble? It would be impossible to do that kind of work on the inside of an object by hand. Even with modern machinery it would be a very difficult and complicated task!19
Yet the precision Dunn measured in the granite box beneath the Second Pyramid was evidently by no means exceptional. In the rock tunnels at the temple of Serapeum at Saqqara, site of the Step Pyramid, Dunn encountered a series of 21 huge boxes hewn of granite and basalt, ensconced in "crypts," he writes, carved at staggered intervals into the bedrock along the tunnels. Each box was approximately 13 feet long, 11 feet high, 7½ feet wide, and bore a stone lid pushed back to allow access to the inside of the box.
Each box [Dunn writes] weighs an estimated sixty-five tons, and, together with the huge lid that sits on top of it, the total weight of each assembly is around one hundred tons.20
Again, Dunn checked the flatness of the outside of one, and the inside of another of these huge boxes, and was unable to detect a deviation anywhere from perfect flatness. The lip of the box was perfectly flat as well, as was the bottom surface of its lid; which he reflected would create a perfect air-tight seal between lid and box, if the lid were to be moved to cover the entire top of the box.21
Additional examples of the uncanny precision of the ancient Egyptian stonemasons (if that is indeed who they were) could be cited almost endlessly, and Dunn delves into the matter at length and in depth, in an attempt to discern a plausible purpose for the Pyramids which accounts rationally for their every observable feature. Such is beyond the scope of this work. I can recommend Dunn's book as decidedly fraught with interest for those who wish to pursue this thread further; pausing only long enough here to hint that Dunn's theory is that the Great Pyramid was designed and created as an enormous machine, not a temple or a tomb, for the purpose of collecting, focusing, and transforming harmonic energies constantly generated by tidal forces within the Earth into useful energy for human use – such as powering the tools used to machine and transport the megalithic components of the Pyramids.
For the purposes of the present work, it suffices to demonstrate once again that at some unknown prehistoric date there resided upon this planet a race of beings whose state of the art in navigation, cartography, stonemasonry, and architecture, among others, was anomalously beyond that of their contemporaries, and even in some cases of the state of the art in today's most "advanced societies." We have by no means exhausted the evidence for this to be found among the ruins along the River Nile – notwithstanding persistent and intransigent protestations to the contrary by the "officially recognized 'experts'" in the domains of Egyptology and archeology.
We have not addressed, for example, the matter of how the Pyramid Builders physically elevated the enormous stones with which they built, to the heights to which their structures rose. The King's Chamber stands at 175 feet above the base of the Pyramid,22 and has a ceiling composed of nine enormous granite beams, some 27 feet long and weighing up to 70 tons each.23 Above this ceiling is a low chamber, likewise with a similar ceiling of granite beams; and a similar chamber above that; and another, and another. The entire stack is capped by a gabled roof of massive blocks of limestone, closely fitted together. In all, the King's Chamber is surmounted by a stack of 43 seventy-ton monolithic granite beams quarried 500 miles away, and raised in an edifice standing over 50 feet tall, the base of which is 175 feet above ground level – the whole buried in the heart of a mountain of limestone more than 450 feet high. Well might anyone with a grain of imagination and common sense ask, How on Earth did they ever do that?
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The Coral Castle
There's a chap who claimed to know "how the Pyramids were built," and who created a monument of his own that proves he knew at least something of what he was talking about. The man was the late Edward Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant who left behind an enduring mystery known as the Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida. The Coral Castle is built of cyclopean blocks of coral rock weighing as much as 30 tons, quarried and put in place single-handedly by Leedskalnin, by means unknown.
No one ever observed Leedskalnin at work; however, it was well known that he worked alone, and did not employ any heavy machinery in his constructions. He started his work in Florida City, but there suffered an attack by a gang of hoodlums, and resolved to move his operation to safer ground. He hired a trucker to move his stones to Homestead, and a remarkable incident is told of this move. Before loading a 20-ton obelisk on the truck, the 110-lb. Leedskalnin asked the trucker to leave him alone for a moment. Out of sight of the little man, the truck driver heard a loud crash, and returned in time to see Leedskalnin dusting off his hands, the 20-ton obelisk securely loaded onto the truck bed.
Once in Homestead, Leedskalnin asked the trucker to leave his truck overnight, and he would offload the obelisk and erect it where he indicated. The trucker returned the next morning to find the obelisk where Leedskalnin had told him it would be.24
Perhaps Leedskalnin knew indeed the secret of how the Pyramids were built. If so, he took the secret with him when he passed from this world in 1952. However, it remains an incontestable fact that in the course of 28 years the diminutive man single-handedly quarried and erected eleven hundred tons of coral rock, by means perhaps rivaling the mystery of the Pyramids themselves; and it cannot be denied that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." [Hamlet, I, v.]
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Further afield, more "smoking guns" turn up that cast gravel and doubt into the tidy myths that conventional anthropologists and archaeologists insist upon as the "true chronology" of human events. One of these is to be found beneath the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, Lebanon.
The Temple of Jupiter, said to be the grandest temple of antiquity, was erected in the year -27 by Caesar Augustus, after consolidating his power as the sole ruler of the Roman world. Baalbek seems a rather out-of-the way location for such an ambitious monument; yet it bore the advantage of a pre-existing foundation of unrivaled excellence anywhere in the known world. Perhaps this foundation attracted Augustus's attention, and the idea of erecting a magnificent temple upon it to the glory of the new Roman Empire may have appealed to him. In any event, the Temple of Jupiter and its adjoining grounds rest upon a foundation defined by three walls containing 27 of the largest blocks of limestone ever included in a human edifice. These foundation stones weigh more than 300 metric tons each, and three of them, world-renowned as the Trilithon, weigh more than 800 tons each.25
The enormous stones of the Trilithon, or part of them, are more clearly visible in this photograph, ca. 1870,26 highlighted across the middle of the picture; along with some of the lesser stones of which the foundation is built – which are "lesser" only in comparison with the three massive stones of the Trilithon themselves. Who it was that quarried these massive monoliths, and put them in place, and why, and when, remains an unsolved mystery. The Romans didn't do it, for there is nowhere else an example of Roman architecture bearing any resemblance to this massive wall. Also, the extreme erosion of the stones in the foundation contrast strikingly with that exhibited in the masonry of the Roman Temple of Jupiter itself; indicating a significant difference in age between the two works.
This difference, as well as the massive scale of the highlighted Trilithon stones (note the little man standing at the corner of the wall), is more apparent in this photograph,27 in which the Trilithon stones, and those upon which they rest, are deeply pockmarked and rounded by time, while the smaller stones placed by the Romans are much more finely shaped, and correspondingly less disfigured by time. Many of the same questions apply here as are raised by the monuments on the Giza Plateau: Who quarried these cyclopean stones? When? How did they lift them to their elevated positions? Why did they burden themselves with such huge monoliths, when they could much more easily have built, as the Romans did, with stones of more convenient size?
The most forthright answer available to these and parallel questions is, We don't know. Yet surely the anomalous phenomena cited here bear testimony in stone – or in the case of the portolano maps, in geographic knowledge of unaccountable provenance – that entities have left palpable footprints upon this planet that do not reconcile with the mythologies taught in schools, and stubbornly defended by scholars and experts in positions of almost universally recognized "authority." There is a subtext to what is popularly called "history" and "prehistory" for which abundant physical evidence exists, yet which is nowhere addressed within conventional academic circles. So much the worse for conventional academic circles; for those who sincerely wish to delve for the "true story" of our past are hereby cautioned that the works of the "experts" are not necessarily infallible, and there is basis among existing evidence for wide-ranging speculation.
Available evidence seems to indicate a fairly steady evolutionary progress among human cultures in many parts of the world, which included a Paleolithic transition into Neolithic cultures coincident with the discoveries of agriculture, animal husbandry, ceramics, textiles, metallurgy, and other technologies which combined in the earliest civilizations and quasi-civilizations predating the academically recognized hierarchical civilizations of Sumeria and pharaonic Egypt.
Yet beside this orderly evolutionary strand must be laid another, highly mysterious, cultural strand characterized by advanced technologies, some of which have not been mastered by even the most advanced cultures resident on the planet today. This unknown culture appeared, as if out of thin air, in some undisclosed "prehistoric" epoch; left enduring traces of their presence in at least several sites around the planet; left evidence demonstrating their competence to map the entire planet accurately;... and eventually disappeared, apparently as silently and mysteriously as they arrived. If they had any relationship at all with the indigenous Paleolithic and/or Neolithic peoples populating the various regions they explored, we may well wonder whether such relationship "helped" or "hindered" the evolution of our ancestors, and in either case, how? Surviving mythologies retain no more than oblique and difficult to interpret reference to any such relationships.
These facts and surmises complicate our models of human biological and cultural evolution considerably. We are faced with perplexing questions, such as, Where did these unknown wielders of advanced technologies come from – Outer Space? Or did they originate and evolve on Earth, alongside their less sophisticated peers? In what ways, if any, did they influence indigenous human events? If they were so smart, sophisticated, and advanced, why are they not here still? Or are they? And if not, where did they go, and why? While they were here, did their presence produce anything that could be called a Golden Age among indigenous humans? Or were they like visitors to a wilderness reserve, possibly observing native populations as might our anthropologists or biologists, disturbing our ancestors as minimally as possible? Or did they relate to the indigenous tribes as contemporary cattle ranchers relate to their cattle? Or as civilized humans today relate to all other life forms on Earth? We don't know the answers to any of these questions. Yet we have clear and diverse evidence that something extraordinary has gone on here during fairly recent millennia, which occupies an almost total blank in our historical memory.
One can empathize with the academic scholars who summarily brush all this aside and label it the incoherent hooting of the lunatic fringe. Our mythologies would be so much simpler, would they not? if we could just ignore the anachronistic portolano charts of the 16th century navigators; the machined artifacts in the Egyptian desert; the cyclopean walls in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.28 One can sympathize, in a way, with the tenacity of those who insist, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the Pyramids were, by golly, nothing more, less, or other than the tombs of the pharaohs, so just shut up and be still! Because admitting otherwise opens an enormous academic can of worms, with the ultimate outcome of possibly turning on its head more than a century of scholarly research. It's not an easy thing. There are careers and reputations at stake – and the omnipresent worry in all academic circles over obtaining funding for ongoing research. Tough situation.
Yet we humans on this planet are now swiftly coming down to the wire, where we either survive or perish as a species. We have evidently made some very serious errors in our estimation of ourselves, and our "proper place" in the overall scheme of things. In order to correct these errors, we must come to a realistic re-evaluation of who we are, and how best to conduct ourselves in Cosmos. We have lately achieved the capability of obliterating all life on planet Earth – obviously, including ourselves. It remains to be seen if we have also achieved the wisdom necessary to sidestep that eventuality, and to carry on our expanding spiral of evolution in harmony, rather than at war, with Cosmos at large. If the latter is our choice, we will surely lose. It looks like a near thing; yet if we are to get through the narrow pass in which we now find ourselves, it is vital that we achieve an accurate appraisal of who and where we have been, what we have done, how we got where we are, and where we might go from here. This means, among other things, that it is time to stop kidding ourselves about our past, and willfully overlooking facts that do not fit with our authoritatively established mythologies.
With these observations in mind, and frankly acknowledging how little we reliably know about our "prehistoric," and even "historic" past, we may tentatively weave a new myth, not about the Golden Age, if any, of past millennia, but about the New Golden Age poised to rise from the wreckage of our collapsing dominator civilization. We require at this time a fresh vision of who we are, where we fit into the Cosmic scheme, and of the possibilities now open to us; and it is our responsibility, no one else's, to bring into manifestation our vision of a true Golden Age. What will such a Golden Age "look like?" What will be some of the characteristic identifiers which will enable us to distinguish reliably between the beginnings of a genuine Golden Age and the cleverly contrived snares and deceptions of the declining Dark Age?
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Myth of a New Golden Age
If you have ever earnestly endeavored to get "outside the box" of "civilized orthodoxy," or sought "higher ground," as discussed in section I.5, you will have experienced directly the bulldog tenacity of the labyrinthine systems of the Dark Age. No sooner will you have placed yourself, after great exertions, "outside the box," than you will have turned around to find yourself still enclosed by yet another "box," albeit somewhat larger than the one you had most lately escaped; and so, your labors must commence anew. The essence of the Dark Age, and of what we have been calling "civilization" on this planet for the past several thousands of years, is that it is arranged as a virtually endless succession of "Chinese boxes," fiendishly contrived to keep everybody trapped in some kind of apparatus under the control of somebody, or something, else: in a few words, under hierarchical control. No matter how "high" anyone "rises" in this endless hierarchy, there is always someone, or something, "higher" still, and everyone performs their labors in life, cradle to grave, under someone else's proverbial thumb. The hierarchy is invariably maintained by preemptive force, which is to say, by perpetual war, under various euphemistic and dishonest labels.
One essential difference, therefore, between the New Golden Age, and the Dark Age which precedes it, is that in the Golden Age, things will be allowed, never forced. That is, the New Golden Age will be a Golden age "in fact" to the extent that everything is allowed, and nothing is forced; because that's the way the real world seems to work: everything is allowed.
Even preemptive force is allowed – for awhile, as exemplified by what we've been calling "civilization." Yet "in the long run," as a pattern for life, and as a social structure, "civilization," as defined by contemporary global human culture, doesn't work, and is ultimately doomed to self-destruct – as our so-called "civilization" is doing today, right before our very eyes.
In the real world, nothing is forbidden, and everything is allowed; yet every action is coupled to its consequences. In the real world, anyone who wants to is allowed, for instance, to step out of a high-altitude airplane without a parachute; or to step off the edge of a precipice. Not all the consequences of such a step are necessarily immediate, for it does take some time to free-fall several hundreds or thousands of feet. Eventually, however, one's free-fall progress toward the center of the Earth is abruptly interrupted at its surface, and the final consequence of one's earlier step then takes effect. If this is the intended consequence, well; if not, the step may be tabulated as an "error."
During the early days of experimental human flight, before the "laws of aerodynamics" were clearly understood, contraptions were contrived which were believed to be capable of flight, but were not. Attempted flights in such contraptions generally ended in injury or fatality for their erstwhile "pilots," and it was "back to the drawing board" for their inventors. Hierarchical so-called "civilization" has been such a contraption, and is now involved in the "crash landing" that could have been predicted for it thousands of years ago by anyone knowledgeable of the "laws of social dynamics." If a New Golden Age is ever to emerge, it will necessarily conform to the "laws of social dynamics," whether we understand said "laws" now, or not.29
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The Masculine/Feminine Nexus
A subset of the "laws of social dynamics" of particularly keen interest has to do with the dynamic between men and women, or more generally between the masculine and the feminine principles. We have already highlighted abundant archaeological evidence supporting the idea that human cultures characterized by co-equal partnership between women and men have also been characterized by peace, and rich cultural creativity. Human cultures, on the other hand, characterized by domination of women by men have also been characterized by war, and cultural stagnation or regression.30
Since the relationship between women and men, whatever its nature or cultural basis, is the nexus that gives rise, physically, to every succeeding generation, the nature of the masculine / feminine dynamic must lie at or very near the hub of the "laws of social dynamics." Therefore, one of the authentic identifiers of a Golden Age will be the emergence of a human culture in which domination of women by men will have been entirely supplanted by co-equal partnership between women and men. We must get our female / male relationships "right" if we are to have any hope of getting anything else "right;" because every quality of our male / female relationships is unavoidably inherited and proliferated by every succeeding generation. This is precisely why the "wrongness" of the Dark Age has been so persistent and difficult for us to overcome: the culture of domination is perpetuated as a meme, and as a universally inculcated myth, from mind to mind, and generation to generation.
So it emerges that the "atomic unit" at the core of the elaborate apparatus of hierarchical control, and its endless nest of "Chinese boxes," is this basic and universal hierarchy of men over women, imposed by force, and unlimited warfare in all its myriad variations and nuances. This imbalance we must remedy, if we are ever to see the emergence of another Golden Age upon the Earth; and one way to do this is to form female / male partnerships entirely void of hierarchical elements – and to expand these partnerships to include, ultimately, every kind of human relationship.
This is how the hierarchical system evolved to begin with: domination of women by men, and the feminine principle by the masculine, metastasized into domination of the entire Earth by the human war machine. The counter-strategy of forming non-hierarchical partnerships may have the collateral advantage of vaulting us "outside the box" at a single bound, rather than attempting the painful and tedious journey from "box" to successive "box" in what may well be an endless nest of hierarchically arranged "Chinese boxes."
This necessity extrapolates into myriad domains of human social structures which need to be fundamentally "re-imagineered." The institution of "marriage," for instance, as practiced in virtually every "civilized" culture, is by no means the only, but is certainly one of the most centrally important ones to be subjected to profound re-thinking. As currently structured, "marriage" and the so-called "nuclear family," are forms of hierarchical co-ownership of human by human which thoroughly sabotage a functional social dynamic among humans. How is this so? Let us count the ways.
There are alleged to be species (geese spring to mind) that naturally "mate for life." They in effect "get married," so it is said, and "remain faithful" to their respective "spouses" for the entire duration of their procreative lives. This is unusual in nature, yet aside from the possible subjective judgment of some humans, it cannot be said to place geese upon any higher "moral ground" than, say, dogs and cats, who notoriously do not display this peculiar behavior pattern. If it works for geese, fine: that is their preference, arrived at via the metaconscious evolutionary path that makes them in every respect what they are. Yet it is by no means the only "natural" way of negotiating sexual pairing and propagation of the species.
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The Example of the Bonobos
There exists in equatorial Africa a somewhat obscure species of ape, until the second quarter of the 20th century thought to have been a variety of chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes. The bonobo, Pan paniscus, has developed a social pattern in which sex plays an unusually significant and richly various part.31 Bonobos occupy a fragmented range south of the Congo River in Central Africa, and are one of four species of the family, Pongidae; the others being chimps (Pan troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and orangutans (Pongo Pygmaeus). Ourselves (Homo sapiens) and our ancestors, including the extinct australopithecines, belong to the family, Hominidae. Of our four "nearest kin" among animal species, Pan paniscus appear to be the most closely related, genetically, to Homo sapiens.
Bonobos are not on their way to becoming human [de Waal writes] any more than we are on our way to becoming like them. Both of us are well-established, highly evolved species. We can learn something about ourselves from watching bonobos, though, because our two species share an ancestor, who is believed to have lived a "mere" six million years ago. Possibly, bonobos have retained traits of this ancestor that we find hard to recognize in ourselves, or that we are not used to contemplating in an evolutionary light.32
One of the most unique and remarkable aspects of bonobo society is the rich variety of ways in which sexual contact is employed as a social mechanism for disarming conflicts and tensions over food, territory, and other potential sources of social abrasion.
Whereas the bonobo amazes and delights many people [de Waal writes], the implications of its behavior for theories of human evolution are sometimes inconvenient. These apes fail to fit traditional scenarios, yet they are as close to us as chimpanzees, the species on which much ancestral human behavior has been modeled. Had bonobos been known earlier, reconstructions of human evolution might have emphasized sexual relations, equality between males and females, and the origin of the family, instead of war, hunting, tool technology, and other masculine fortes. Bonobo society seems ruled by the "Make Love, Not War" slogan of the 1960s rather than the myth of a bloodthirsty killer ape that has dominated textbooks for at least three decades.33
De Waal writes further that
It is impossible to understand the social life of this ape without attention to its sex life: the two are inseparable. Whereas in most other species, sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it has become an integral part of social relationships, and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination: male-male, male-female, female-female, male-juvenile, female-juvenile, and so on. The frequency of sexual contact is also higher than among most other primates.34
Indeed, if we can learn anything at all about ourselves from observation of other species, and particularly of our nearest genetic relatives, then like it or not, we must be prepared to admit that "very few human sexual practices can be dismissed as 'unnatural'."35
This may not be a particularly welcome observation to those comfortably habituated to the "civilized" meme that Our way is the only right way to live, and all people should live as we do. But then, it is not to such as these that the Myth of a Golden Age, or this entire work, for that matter, are addressed. Everyone is entitled to their preferred mythologies; it is merely the prediction of this thesis that adherence to the mythologies that have produced our hierarchical so-called "civilizations" will not lead, ultimately, to human success on planet Earth.
Humans, like dogs, cats, and bonobos, and unlike geese, are observably polygamous by nature, either serially or concurrently – another of the innumerable possible approaches to sexual pairing and propagation of the species. That some human hierarchies have declared polygamy a "crime" in no way changes this natural human behavior pattern; it only "criminalizes" one aspect of what it may mean to be human, and thereby makes "being human" significantly more restricted and difficult than it would otherwise be. It is akin to the reported attempt of one legislative body to declare by statute, in the noble interest of simplifying mathematical calculations, that the value of π, the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle, should henceforth be equal to 3.0000, instead of 3.1415926536.... It simply isn't so.
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Gateway to a New Golden Age
When humans take it upon themselves to attempt to force "what is" into conformity with their concept of "what should be," they arrogate to themselves prerogatives that do not in fact belong to them. Such errors are allowed – but they, like all human actions, are coupled to unavoidable consequences. "Civilized" humans, arrogating to themselves prerogatives secured by force, not nature, have for the past several thousand years attempted to bend "what is" into shapes corresponding to assorted notions of "what should be" on the basis of various self-interested agendas. The common thread that runs consistently through all such agendas has been the will to maintain and expand their domains of domination by any available means – which has universally relied, finally, upon preemptive force, meaning perpetual and unmitigated war. At its roots, this has been a masculine impulse, perpetrated first against women, overturning by force the natural order of "what is" which relies in fact upon the female, in partnership with the male, for propagation and nurture of every new generation. It is an unalterable material fact that every new generation emerges from the womb of a woman; and is most effectively nourished in an ambiance of partnership between women and men, as opposed to one of domination of women by men.
One of the consequences of this tragic misunderstanding has been a confusion about what it means to be human, so widespread, tangled, and profound that today there hardly resides upon the planet a single individual who can with confidence distinguish between what it is to be human, and what "the authorities" claim it "should be." The vast majority of people doubtless even still rely upon the "authority" of "the authorities" to inform them of solutions to such conundrums. But since all such "authority" is founded at bottom upon force, not nature, and has demonstrated itself to be at best thoroughly inept, and at worst maliciously destructive and self-serving, the so-called "authority" of the so-called "authorities" is being revealed to those of discernment to be the last place to seek "answers to difficult questions," or aid in circumstances of calamity. Similarly, enlightened chickens would most likely eschew the advice or assistance of foxes, coyotes, or wolves in matters relating to the chickens' well-being.
Therefore, another of the authentic identifiers of a Golden Age will be the emergence of human patterns that work, not from any so-called "authority," but springing spontaneously from "ordinary individuals" experimenting upon themselves and their patterns of living and association. The most successful of these, initially, will be those who are most able to distance themselves from reliance upon the "authority" of "the authorities" in every domain of human endeavor; for every claim of "authority" rests at bottom upon the will to wage war. The emergence of a New Golden Age will consequently be attended by much "re-inventing the wheel," to be sure; yet the ultimate result will be a vehicle capable of conveying its passengers where they actually want to go, instead of where "the authorities" want them to go.
The "gateway" to a New Golden Age will open to those who are able to achieve an harmonious balance in the dynamic relationship between the masculine and feminine principles in every domain of interaction within the human scope. Such balance will include the liberating realization that there are no authorities! about anything; that every life is an experiment, and every individual, by virtue of being alive, is entitled to conduct his or her experiments at her or his own exclusive discretion. The most fruitful lives will be lived by those, particularly in this period of emerging global transition, who grant themselves the liberty to experiment most boldly, and with the least encumbrance of "convention."
The "ethic" that will make such lives viable in a social setting will also consist of an harmonious combination of masculine and feminine principles, coupled with a recognition of individual responsibility for the conduct of every life:
That's about it. Any group that can agree to respect and practice these three principles in their social interactions will stand a favorable probability of finding peace, happiness, and success in the real world. Actual contingencies will naturally stimulate creativity and cooperation among the members of the group; and since each member of the group will have learned, initially by hard experience during the Dark Age, the fundamental superiority of partnership over domination, co-equal partnership may reliably be expected under all circumstances. Exceptions will no longer be tolerated, and will by overwhelming consensus be meticulously weed out of the human social garden.36
Indeed, practice of the three simple principles enumerated above will disclose to all participants that, although "each individual is exclusively responsible for preservation of his or her own liberty and life," the most effective strategy for actually preserving one's liberty and life is simply to take pains for the preservation of the liberty and life of others – primarily by allowing them the same liberties oneself enjoys. This simple practice will lead to a dance of infinite and endlessly expanding richness, diversity, variety, complexity, and liberty for all: the very conditions required for the unencumbered evolution of metaconsciousness at all levels and scales; and for the dawning of a Golden Age among humans.
That, anyway, is how it seems to me. What do you think?
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1. In Dominator and Partnership Civilizations, section I.8.
2. Charles H. Hapgood, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age, Adventures Unlimited Press, One Adventure Place, Kempton, Illinois 60946, USA, 1966, 1996.
3. "Antarctica History, a time line of the exploration of Antarctica."
4. For example, if it is reliably certain to be high-noon in London at the moment of sun-up aboard ship, a navigator can be sure of lying on a longitude 90° west of the Prime Meridian, either in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico south of New Orleans, or somewhere in the eastern Pacific Ocean south of Guatemala. The latter mystery is solved by finding the latitude, easily done and long understood by mariners the world over. But an accurate seagoing chronometer, without which the navigator has no way of knowing when it is high-noon in London, is essential for finding the longitude.
5. Well... January, 1762, actually; and then there was contention over that, and the matter of "finding the longitude" became rather ugly. The convoluted tale of John Harrison and his fabulous clocks – complete with political, financial, and scholarly intrigue, which muddies the waters considerably – is told in Dava Sobel's account, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, Penguin Books, New York, 1995.
6. Well... concurrent with Harrison's endeavor to find the longitude by means of his highly reliable and accurate chronometers, there were other approaches in the running for the £20,000 prize established by the British Crown to reward the first person to "find the longitude" with a prescribed accuracy. A chief contender for the prize was an astronomical method which involved plotting the progress of the Moon across the stellar background, as a means of computing the difference between local time aboard ship and the time at the Prime Meridian; and this involved compiling an accurate stellar map of both hemispheres, and an almanac giving mariners the times in London when the Moon might be observed (on a clear night, during the monthly periods in which the Moon's location is not obscured by the Sun). A very few longitudes on land had been plotted by this method; but in the end, Harrison's clocks opened the way for finding the longitude anywhere, land or sea, any time.
7. Hapgood, 1966, pp. 243-5.
8. Confirmed in 1949 by a joint Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic expedition, and by subsequent scientific expeditions.
9. Hapgood cites a particular study of glacial and alluvial sediments taken from the floor of the Ross Sea that indicates the most recent period the Antarctic coast could have been free of ice was between 6,000 and 15,000 years ago (Hapgood, 1966, pp. 96-7).
10. Also known by their Greek names, respectively as Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus.
11. Graham Hancock, Fingerprints of the Gods, Crown Trade Paperbacks, New York, 1995, p. 294.
12. Christopher Dunn, The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt, Bear & Company Publishing, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1998, p. 55.
13. Dunn, 1998, pp. 17-20.
14. William Flinders Petrie, Pyramids and the temples of Gizeh, 1883. Reprint, with an update by Dr. Zahi Hawass, London, Histories and Mysteries of Man, 1990, p.29, quoted by Dunn, 1998, p.76.
15. Dunn, 1998, p. 76.
16. Petrie, 1883, quoted by Dunn, 1998, pp. 80-1.
17. Dunn, 1998, p. 84.
18. Ibid., p. 94.
19. Ibid., p. 95.
20. Ibid., p. 96.
21. Loc. cit., pp. 96-7.
22. Ibid., p. 27.
23. Ibid., p. 31.
24. Ibid., p. 111.
25. The Trilithon, three long blocks laid end-to-end in the massive wall near the bottom of the photograph, may be seen just above the trees in the lower right corner of the frame. Photograph source: http://www.geocities.com/jirimruzek/baalbek.htm. Click on the image for an enlarged view.
26. Bonfils, ca. 1870. Negative inscribed "468. Mur Cyclopeen a Balbek." Albumen. Unmounted. 11 × 9 inches. © 1996 Middle East Section. Joseph Regenstein Library. The University of Chicago.
Source: http://www.geocities.com/jirimruzek/baalbek.htm. Click on the image for an enlarged view.
27. http://www.biblemysteries.com/images/baalbek1.jpg; http://www.geocities.com/jirimruzek/baalbek.htm. Click on the image for an enlarged view.
28. We could have, but have not, devoted some attention to other artifacts of unknown origin, such as the cyclopean wall of Sacsayhuaman, near Cuzco, Peru.
29. This analogy was originally developed at greater length by Ishmael, Quinn, 1992, pp. 105-10.
30. In Dominator and Partnership Civilizations, section I.8.
31. Frans de Waal, text, and Frans Lanting, photographs, Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1997.
32. De Waal and Lanting, 1997, p. 3.
33. Ibid., pp. 1-2.
34. Ibid., p. 4.
35. Ibid., p. 5.
36. One proposed means of effecting this result has been described, and will be examined in section II.3.
Metaconsciousness: Mythology for a Post-Civilized World
II.1 | Contents | II.3