Monday, December 11, 2017

In Search Of The Hidden Executive

An old legend exists about ancient wisdom guarded by hidden custodians who work as a benevolent force. Also known as the Hidden Directorate,  the hypothesis suggests  a group of exceptional individuals protect and encapsulate all human knowledge and keep it secretive in order to ensure that it is governed over those capable of misuse. These archetypes supposedly influence the whole good of humanity and have many other names, such as the Hierarchy of Adepts, The Secret Chiefs, the Knowers, the Masters, the Unknowns, or the People of the Secret. It is thought that this group maintains a key influence over people and the world's cultures and that they sometimes acquaint us with key ideas and initiate experiences in a sacred or secular context. So the legend presents them with an agenda to exist for the good of humanity, override sinister forces, and stop those who seek to prevent man from achieving his true spiritual potential and right. 

The the term "Hidden Directorate" was actually coined by British author Ernest Scott. In his book, "The People Of The Secret," he presents an argument for the reality of such an assembly, and the world as a spiritual heritage, with individuals who work to free the consciousness of humanity. Throughout his book, he continues that they seek not to control but to direct and influence. "For man cannot be blindly lead, only prompted into action with certain opportunities at a certain time, becuase the power of man's free will cannot be overrun."

The Hidden Directorate is sometimes connected to a well known account in the bible, from the book of Matthew. Somewhat downplayed, but officially documented, is the story of Herod who summoned a group of mysterious wisemen from the east, before they found their way to Bethlehem, after the appearance of a mysterious star in the sky. The story simply describes these kings as men who studied the stars, and as educated travelers who came from the east to find the infant messiah. Threatened by the prophesy, Herod intervened their journey, in order to find out exactly where Jesus was located, and the exact time the star had appeared. These men of Parthia or Magi, reveal nothing of importance to him however, having been warned in a dream from an angel to avoid Herod, and returned safely to their countries by an alternate route. In any case, these mysterious wise men from the east, are considered part of an older element of Eastern culture prior to and throughout the time of Jesus.

Historians know there were eastern groups who stem back the the eighth century and claimed to have acted as caretakers of a continuous line of knowledge known as the Sufi's or Tariquas. Due to their beliefs however, they walked a fine line of heresy, and were persecuted by the Muslim community. They did present a coded book known as the Basra Encyclopedia that arrived in Spain from Basra. It appeared in the the fist half of the eleventh century through the Sufi, and the book supposedly contained all world knowledge. The actions of the underground Sufi movement in Spain was considered the first open strategic effort from a "Directorate" to inject influence over Europe.

Pope Benedict XVI said of the Magi: "The men of who Matthew speaks are not just astronomers. They were 'wise.' They represent the inner dynamic of religion toward self -transcendence, which involves a search for truth, a search for the true God and, hence, 'philosophy' in the original sense of the word."

In the early nineteenth century French diplomat Louis Jacolliot wrote a number of remarkable works on the ancient legends of India. While assigned there on post, he uncovered a certain legend called the "Nine Unknowns." According to the legend, a secret society was created by the Indian Emperor Asoka in 273 BC, in an attempt to envelop all human knowledge and ensure it was governed by those incapable of misuse. He also claimed that the marital art of Judo was a result of these teachings.

This exploration also leads us also into Illuminism and the Templars. Like threads in time, they further reveal the suggestion of  unknown superiors or hidden masters. Illumimism was injected into Europe from the school of Masarra (883-931) in Cordorba, a center of underground Sufi teachings, while Freemasonry derived from the Knights Of Templar, a powerful order, enabled Sufism to travel to the East through Europe through interaction with pilgrims and mystics the Holy Land. Later along history's timeline, we find the publication of the mysterious Rosicrucian document Fama Fraternitatus - in 1614 that offers yet more clues of the existence of certain "unknown superiors" or "Brothers of the Rosy Cross" who lived and worked in secret. Directing in secret, so to speak, the spiritual destiny of the world.

The legend of the Directorate was studied by famous men in the distant past as well,  including Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon. Bacon, a famous Franciscan monk in 1247,  who openly cited that the secret had been held by Noah, Abraham, the Chaldean and Egyptian master, Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Socrates and the Sufis, and that all true religions are one. There were also supposedly five major objectives, including the concept of love, which recovered the dying mystery traditions of female or goddess reverence. A restoration of the feminine element so to speak.

Offering great implications, I'd like to think of this myth as a real possibility. It would be good to know that a benevolent group exists, whose aim is to help, and that life as we know it, is a little more than chance or hazard. Who are these shields that guard the realms of man? We can only speculate.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Science Fiction and the Dinner Affair

It is said that the devils in the details, and the older I get the more I have to admit there might be some truth to that. Its not that I like details. In fact I hate details, yet in the same breath I am also driven to find explanations and understand why some people like something and why they don't. could say I'm more into the "big picture." Let's take for instance science fiction. But don't mind the details.

After doing the research, and drawing from a few of my own personal experiences I think there is a wide range of reasons why people do like science fiction. About this time last year, I decided — somewhat reluctantly—to go ahead and pass out some information about my books at a local football and dinner party. One of the women at the party, with a thick Russian accent, tugged at her fur shawl, and told me she straight away she didn't like science fiction. I took in a breath and simply asked, "Why not?" She shrugged with an indifferent look on her face. "Romance?" I questioned hopefully. "I do have quite of bit of romance integrated into my stories," I explained. "Anything?" She shook her head. "Oh," was all I could manage. A non-reader. To an author, they're like the walking dead. Before I could regain my composure, her younger comrade,  snatched one of my book marks out of my hand before I could blink an eye, and told me she loved science fiction. I smiled and told her I hoped she would enjoy it, but I felt like a coin that just fell off a spinning ceiling fan and stood up. When people like science fiction they really do and when they don't - they really don't I thought to myself. But as far as the first woman, could this have been a smack down because I gave her boyfriend - my divorce attorney - a friendly hug a few seconds beforehand? My mind's eye flickered back in time, but it was too late to test out the theory. Maybe if I had asked her before the hug she loved science fiction. 

Shortly afterwards,  she had moved into the kitchen,  and had begun to complain loudly about a lot other things she didn't like -  like football - and that she wanted to leave the party.  That made me feel a little better because it seemed I was not the only one on the list of things she didn't like. Her attitude got on my nerves and her demeanor, I concluded, was just ill-mannered.  The football was really only part of the entertainment and I for one - was glad to be with friends.  Suffice to say the host - a close friend of mine, who is usually very cool tempered and laid back, hadn't missed a thing. He had few drinks in him thought at this point, and stood regarding her antics with an annoyed look on his face, then leaned into my ear saying, "I don't like that bitch." I stood firm, but hardly surprised by his reaction.  I saw her step about and grab her jacket to leave, as he continued. "Just a whore after his money,"  he concluded. "Sorry to hear that," was about all I could manage, enjoying the spectacle despite myself. After a few short words, I found a quick exit and headed to a nearby room. Such is my fate in life, but within a few seconds of research,  I had unwittingly created a real life drama instead. Ah well. Too bad I didn't ask her before the hug but the latest research will tell you one in five people do enjoy science fiction. 

The steps of science research are: 1. Ask a question. 2. Do background research. 3. Construct a hypothesis. 4. Test the Hypothethis. 5. Analyze the data and communicate your results.

But back to the big picture and less about my fun in "people watching." The good news is I did find a few other people at the party who were genuinely interested in my stories, which concluded the research that one in five will. Science fiction readers are also about 60% male and 40% female. They are often young, or older but the in-between ages fade away from the market for a time. According to a blind research project by a writer named Mark Neimann-Ross they also make good money with the average income at about 50,000 to more than 80,000 a year. Another piece of interesting news is - it is thought, but not confirmed that science fiction readers use both sides of the brain, able to combine the analytical and the intuitive visual sides at the same time. Although this is only extrapolation it seems only a percent of the population are able to "think" like an S/SF reader.

Although that might be true, my least favorite information has to do with social stigma. Despite overwhelming evidence that science fiction is a genre of mature ideas and intelligent writing, mainstream society still hold this as "Nerd" cool, or for twelve-yr olds with overactive imaginations, and not for women. As usual these perceptions don't seem to come into play as people hold up the movie line for Avatar, The Time Traveler's Wife or Harry Potter. Sigh. I can't fight against perceptions and don't care to. Life is just too short.

As for me, I like science fiction because the here and now is a little bit boring to me. We already have the here and now, and the real world can be a bit disenchanting, predictable and well, boring.  Rational. Systematic. Even cold. Where is the wonder and magic in that? I'd rather  re enchant the world and spark young imaginations. It's the unknown and the scientific process that offers a hope, a dream a future that we just haven't seen yet. The devil may be in the details - but according to the numbers, twenty one percent of people in the USA do like science fiction which adds up to sixty-four million people in this country alone.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Oxygen Event

In the beginning...

The earth sat still, and empty, with an ocean and land for about 2.5 billion years. There was an atmosphere, but no oxygen as we breath now. There were no beasts, fish, or fowl. No dinosaurs, no lizards - nothing. There was only land and sea, and anaerobic bacteria. All oxygen was locked up in water molecules or bonded to iron in minerals. Not a sound could be heard, but the wind and the waves.  For 2.5 billion years. Science calls this the pre-GOE ocean. 

But at some point... oxygen began production. This was done by something called Cynobacteria. Cynobactera are photosynthetic and turn sunlight into energy to produce oxygen as a waste product. Suddenly the Anaerob's died off and the Cyno's took over. Then life began as we know it. This turn of events is whats called the Great Oxygenation Event. 

Some believe a meteor was the catalyst that hit Earth to help create this "oxygen" event - because meteors can carry cyanobacteria. At this point, read on, because I'm about to merge science fiction with fiction. But don't take this in a light hearted manner - because I could be right...

Certain scientists have suspicions that life on meteors and the fact that they go around the universe slamming into planets is deliberate. What would you do if you were an advanced civilization facing catastrophic annihilation? What if you were being wiped out by another race of beings who were going to end your kind forever? What would you do to secure and expand life that could become similar to yours throughout in the universe? Well... there is one way, and that would be to use meteors as payloads that carry DNA, proteins, complex mixtures of alkanes, amino acids and other carbonaceous chondrites. Payloads could also include extremophiles for diverse environments and cyanobacteria similar to early microorganisms. This is whats known as the theory of directed panspermia.

This bold speculation was first proposed in 1973 by Nobel prize winner Professor Francis Crick, OM FRA, along with British chemist Leslie Orgel. Crick proposed that small grains containing DNA-the building blocks of life, could be loaded on meteors - on purpose - and fired randomly in all directions.  Crick and Orgel were careful to point out that Directed Panspermia was not a certainty; but rather a plausible alternative that ought to be taken seriously.

This strategy of using of fleets of microbial capsules would be the most cost effective idea for seeding life on compatible planets at some time in the future. Because of their extremely small size, vast numbers of microorganisms can be carried, without any special equipment. Meteor storage is made for very long periods at low temperatures - and go unnoticed. Meteors could have been aimed at us, and at other clusters of new stars in star-forming clouds where they acted as delivery agents once they landed here. Once more, hardy multicellular organize (rotifer cysts) may be included to induce higher evolution.

The discovery that raw components of life are present on meteors that hit Earth have been countless and suggest that life exists elsewhere. Not only does it exist, the speculation is that when it hits this planet, it affects the balance of life here as well.  To surmise that someone else began life here as we know is plausible. Sending out a little raw material of their own via interstellar travel made its way to Earth is certainly not impossible. The 1973 paper focuses on the universality of the genetic code and the role that molybdenum plays in living organisms.

Strangely enough in 2015 astrobiologist Milton Wainwright and a team of researchers found a small minuscule metal globe with a gooey biological material oozing from its center on a high-flying ballon in Earth's stratosphere. A metal globe from origins unknown. It hit the ballon hard and left a tiny impact mark like a crater, and they found it. They still don't know what it is - but they are certainly scratching their heads thinking about what Crick proposed over forty years ago. This thing they found may be proof of alien biological seeds of life.  But its not just this finding, it many others including algae like fossils found in a meteorite fragment from Sri Lanka in 2013. There's been a multitude of meteors that have hit us with alien life, including the Murchison meteorite. That one hit Australia in 1969. The Murchison was part of a class of meteors called the CM group. (carbonaceous chondrites) which means these meteors experienced extensive alterations by water-rich fluids on its parent body before falling to Earth.

It is difficult to prove if life started elsewhere or here ab inito without disturbance from elsewhere. I prefer to maintain that the universe is a starry soup and the idea of contamination or infection is a feeble notion. We ourselves may be the result of certain chemistries found on other planets. We are not infecting Mars, or other planets - we are already from out there and deeply connected. We are alive, one way or the other, headed for a future, coded and set to survive, by origins - unknown.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Antikthyera Mechanism

This story begins as the many great stories do, with a ship, captain and crew in the year 1900 who were simply going about their business as sponge divers. Returning to Greece from an expedition around Africa - the ship had cautiously avoided an approaching storm in the north of Crete and set sail to an outlying island for safety called Antikythera. Being a resourceful man, captain Kondos sent down a diver to see about collecting a few more sponges while they waited for the storm to pass. But something far more astounding awaited Kondos and his crew that day. Beneath the waves and depths of the seas destiny and the powers of time had been ordered to a single purpose and place.

Within minutes, a diver named Stadiatos resurfaced shouting frantically that he had seen hundreds of corpses and horses strewn below. Confounded, Kondo's thought maybe Stadiatos had lost his mind. Kondos quickly pulled on a canvas diving suit and a copper bell helmet and went down to take a look.

It turns out what Stadiatos thought were bodies were actually bronze sculptures from an ancient ship wreck. It seems they had crossed the oceans many times, and now they had crossed the oceans of time. Kondos and his crew took action and retrieved what they could bringing the treasure. For what mysterious circumstances had brought them there but an experienced diving crew, a ship, and specialized equipment to bring up treasure from the sea? But then again there are random things that happen in this universe for which we may never truly understand...

Soon after, the Hellenic Navy explored the wreck and collected more of the valuable marble, coins, and other precious artifacts along with a few curious lumps of stone that that looked like intricate metallic gears. Although interesting, these pieces were largely ignored for almost fifty years until an English physicist named Derek Price took notice. 

Price discovered that they were part of an ancient device, but not just any device - it was something more like an analogue computer. There was an instructive script carved into it that placed it around 200 B.C. period - about 2000 years ago. The device functioned by turning a single input knob, where you could select a date, and the machine would predict with incredible accuracy the positions of the sun, the moon and five planets and the phases of the moon.Dials on the back predicted solar eclipses and the Calyppic cycle.

I wonder if Price yelled out "Eureka" because as it turns out famed Archimedes - the Eureka man himself and the greatest mathematician of all time, was the inventor of this incredible machine. The story goes that Archimedes yelled out "Eureka!" as he ran naked in a street after he watched his own tub water overflow. He calculated that the water that overflowed could be measured equating his mass in the tub. Therefor being able to solve the problem of mass. Eureka!

Archimedes came up with other amazing inventions too, including a mind blowing weapon known as the death ray, where he used gigantic mirrors to aim beams of sunlight at Roman ships to set them on fire.

It's tragic to know, after all of his accomplishments that Archimedes was brutally murdered by a Roman soldier. According to Plutarch, Archimedes was researching a mathematical diagram, when a Roman soldier ordered him to meet General Marcus who was engaged in the siege of Syracuse. But Archimedes declined saying that he had to finish his diagram. Furious, the Roman soldier killed Archimedes.

Despite a his brutal murder,  his inventions and his life were marvelous. Archimedes benevolent influenced rippled, growing from small rings to the rolling waves just beyond our sight.  His life persevered over his death and sent us this serendipity.

Although I am slightly obsessed with this story other people have been too. Hublot's master watchmakers made a replica of the Antikythera mechanism a few years ago scaled down to wristwatch size. The piece was nearly impossible to create and the designers built nonlinear gearings to simulate elliptical patterns in the solar system. It sells online for $233,100.00. Just a little pocket change.

Quite a treasure but the harnessing of time and the original idea was created long ago by a brilliant mathematician, and a brave hero.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Dark Side Of Space

Things sometimes come in threes. The Atlantis space shuttle had 85 seconds before insulation hit their shuttle and caused damage. The Columbia had 83 seconds with the same exact problem. The Challenger's went a lot worse, with just 73 seconds during ascent - but all three shuttles had problems within seconds of launch, and all three incidents had to do with the giant external tank system that lifted them into space. But only ONE shuttle survived - The Atlantis. That third thing with space shuttles was narrowly avoided.

The STS-27 was the number given to the Atlantis for a substantially dangerous mission that remains a mystery - because they survived. Upon landing, the magnitude of the damage to the shuttle was severe, with seven hundred damaged tiles on the craft. One tile was completely torn off and the ship avoided burning up thanks to a steel and aluminum section underneath. So thanks to a steel plate, they survived. But should we really count on steel? I'm a little more interested in a rumor about a secret (Extravehicular Activity) E.V.A. space walk that isn't fully revealed.

Once into space and in orbit,  is it known Commander Robert Gibson suspected outer wing damage, and he was right. Just eighty-five seconds into flight, ablative insulating material from the right hand solid rocket booster had damaged the ship. But due to a complication involving security, mission control wasn't able to see the images clear enough to agree. Because of this disagreement Gibson became infuriated. Although the supposed space walk remains a question, it's well known that Gibson planned to tell mission control exactly what he thought of thier dubious analysis in the remaining seconds before his death if he didn't make it through re-entry. Maybe at that point he would have revealed exactly what he did know but it never became a necessity. The commander and crew grabbed a hold of destiny, and shook their space gloved fists to the cosmos that they weren't about to become a fatality. 

I've read about the shuttles for many years but never really understood the connections between these missions. The information about the Atlantis struck me as important so I saved the file as a PDF to return to later.  Once I poured through the details, I finally understood the Columbia's tragedy. The heart of the investigation centered on the the fact that the Columbia crew might have been saved. The Atlantis had been on a launching pad ready to go at the time the Columbia was in peril. But the Atlantis never went up to help and no effort was made on behalf of the Columbia before they made their fatal re-entry. Just incase you aren't familiar with re-entry its dangerous business because a wave of extreme heat engulfs the ship for a time upon return.  Investigators found out the Atlantis could have been launched just five days early and gotten the crew off the Columbia —or repaired the wing maybe, just like Gibson did for the Atlantis in 1988. This was the reason the shuttle program was halted and investigated. Why didn't the Columbia realize? If only they had taken heed like Gibson. Soon afterwards improvements were made to help the safety of the program. 

Looking back to the much luckier mission - the STS-27, it's documented that even though the crew faced death in the eye, they also managed to keep a sense of humor during their mishap and played a song on the fourth crucial day of their mission - "Do you want to know a secret." Its a weird parody of a Beatles song by - Mike Cahill. I tried to find the lyrics. Well, they aren't available and remain part of a classified file. 

Theres been a few clues however about how many EVA's have been performed giving us a hint about a space walk during the mission, but my take on the whole incident is, its just good to know this crew managed to survive. I don't like dig it up, but the fact is theres been a large number of accidents and close calls in space. Some have been as bizarre as a small fire to carbon dioxide poisoning and worse. But space is a dangerous place to be, and at times deadly. 

There are ancient definitions of bravery that describe men who are best prepared for life and for whom their welfare alone depends upon themselves, or nearly so, instead of hanging their hopes on other people. If this is true, then this was one of those times when astronauts swayed their future and exemplified courage in the purist sense against the dark side of space. 

Coincidentally three (three comes up again) of our biggest losses in space happened on the same calendar week - The Apollo 1, the Challenger and the Columbia.