Monday, September 18, 2006

The problem with kookiness....

I was thinking about buying this book: The Origin Map: Discovery of a Prehistoric, Megalithic, Astrophysical Map and Sculpture of the Universe by Thomas G. Brophy, as another book dealing with possible anomalies and lines of evidence refuting the idea that ancient peoples were less evolved. I have a bit of space on my kooky books shelf. Usually the actual evidence is pretty interesting, even if the New Age type of speculation that swirls around it is kooky. But I think I'll skip it given that I haven't even read two or three of the kooky books that I already have.

An Amazon review notes some of the problems typical to books dealing with this type of evidence:
Quite simply, this book is extraordinary and should be read by anyone interested in archeology and anthropology.

On the other hand, despite his awesome credentials, the author diluted this book by having had John Anthony West write an introduction. Mr. West is a swell guy but his longtime association with the fringe and New Age pyramid set gives his presence here a corrosive quality. He wrote a book titled "The Case for Astrology." Worse, Brophy has authored another book that steers directly into New Age turf. Few tenured professors (and even fewer hoping for tenure) of Archeology will leave a copy of this book sitting on their desks for all to see. In fact they'll be frightened to death of it.

I know these sorts of folks, have great discussions with them, and ask them why we can't simply look at the possibilities of the past without dragging metaphysics into it. This stuff will always sit on the fringes as long as that happens.

However, the problem is so persistent (even Charles Hapgood, a former Military Intelligence guy, went woo-woo at the end of his career--authoring "Voices of Spirit") that I'm lately wondering if it isn't intentional. Take the recent book "The Hunt for Zero Point"-- a remarkable exploration of possible anti-gravity and exotic energy technology by an editor of Janes Publications--who is also a specialist in high-end military aircraft. The book is largely excellent and then, at the end, there's a totally gratuitous and jaw-droppingly flakey chapter about some bizarre Canadian psychic. There are a few other singularly odd moments scattered through the book including an odd "reverie" that plants the idea in the reader that exploring the topic at hand could be deadly for them. The result is that the reasonable content, for the critical reader, is thoroughly wrecked...and for no reason as these "extras" added nothing to his material!

So, we find this wrecking going on to some degree in the UFO field (which may be a sort of mega-wrecking machine anyway--no one who spots anything unusual in the skies is taken seriously any more) but almost always in anything about Black technologies (every book on Tesla is rife with wild speculation and goofy anecdotes), ancient civilizations (Atlantis), and ancient catastrophes. All the information is suspect but the common factor is what I'll call a "Strange Attractor," a ghostly presence touching a certain set of subjects and making absolutely sure that no books on these topics will ever be taken seriously by real scientists or thoughtful mainstream readers. The best one can hope for is to get a "sense" that something's up, that something's behind the curtain.

It's ironic that a writer can begin with a critique of metaphysical spookiness and end with reference to a "ghostly presence." The thing of it is, unfortunately some things are so craaazy that only a motley crew of prophets, visionaries, kooks and weirdos will be correct about them. Of course the other 99% of the time kooks are incorrect. I suppose if some UFOs/beings of light come down over Jerusalem and other ancient temples one of these days, etc., then we'll supposedly know for sure. Yet I sometimes wonder if people would know based on "seeing is believing." Provided you're not blind, that notion is a convenient metaphor for belief. It comforts we who see a limited spectrum of light in limited ways with our limited brains with the notion that our minds can encompass all knowledge worth believing or admitting as truth. In fact, one may not believe everything that is seen even now, or one may invert the sentiment too the point that believing is seeing instead. So the debates go on, many revolving around such issues.

No comments: