The mid-1960s was a time of massive cultural and social change in most of the world. I bought my first deck of Tarot cards in 1964 out of the back of a comic book. Tarot cards weren’t available anywhere in my hometown. By 1967, cards and books on the Tarot were available in several shops, many of them mainstream. Something had changed during those 3 years. The search for something more significant, both spiritually and philosophically, became not only an intellectual pursuit, but also proved to be a multi-million dollar business. Interest in alternative thinking became much more than just a fad. It became a movement and began to change the way many of us thought and lived.
The early '70s were a wonderful time for those of us interested in metaphysics and alternative thinking. Interest generated during the '60s, became a part of the culture and in the '70s, proved to be extremely lucrative. Aliens, astrology, Tarot, anything psychic, pyramid-power, meditation, past lives and increased spirituality were all big-businesses. This expansion led to some interesting ideas that were embraced by many. One of these had to do with the belief that some of the greatest accomplishments of humanity were actually performed by alien visitors.
The notion that humans have been helped along by aliens, or extra dimensional beings, is nothing new. The essence of Arthur C Clarke's short story, "The Sentinel”, which eventually became the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, incorporated the premise of superior, alien life giving early humans a nudge toward civilization. Once humanity reached the next phase, another nudge was given, presumably to help us along. Whether that push was beneficial or not is left up to the reader or viewer, but this was fiction and not meant to be taken as fact.
When the theory was put forth in the late '60s that humankind had been visited on several occasions by extraterrestrials, known to us as gods, it was met at first with skepticism, but eventually gained a fervent following. Perhaps it was a reflection of the times, but eventually the book, and a movie of its conclusions, made the author and his theories a worldwide sensation.
What was the premise? In a nutshell, examples of great accomplishments by our ancestors were attributed to extraterrestrials and their advanced technology. It was assumed that early humanity didn’t have the ability, intelligence or knowledge to build pyramids, erect obelisks, carve monuments, erect mighty statues on an island, lay out a henge, understand the periodicity of astronomical phenomena, or figure out the intricacies of surveying and geometry. This theory asserted that aliens were the creative force behind many, if not all, of the most amazing accomplishments of ancient humankind.
I was about 17 years old when I first heard the theory and I swallowed it, hook, line and sinker. I became an advocate of the notion that ancient aliens helped poor and ignorant humans to venture out of caves and into history. I wanted to believe. I argued its veracity with others, openly promoting the “facts” surrounding the proof of alien gods, even though deep down inside of me there was a voice that whispered, "something is wrong here.” That voice was right.
Eventually, the claims and theories put forth by the author were not only refuted, but allegations were made that many “facts” were knowingly misrepresented. I began to do my own research, read scientific opinions, consulted with experts and with my own inner source of guidance. I came to realize that I’d been had. I was 18 years old and crushed.
That same year, a young, charismatic psychic burst onto the world, once again giving true believers bragging rights, creating converts and confounding most of the public – except for sleight-of-hand magicians. I was every bit as excited about the psychic as I had been about extraterrestrial gods. Those experiences taught me much.
When it comes to the topic of Human Origins, it's simple to make claims that can't be refuted. Remembering that most of us want to believe in the mysteries, it's easy for us to see a sparkle of metal in the bottom of a pan and believe it's gold. Perhaps it gives us hope and possibly explains why this world of ours is so seemingly dysfunctional. Human Origins covers science and anthropology, as well as the opinions of experts and non-experts alike, in a myriad of different fields.
I'm not implying that all non-academic Human Origin theories are false if they aren’t based on scientific methodology. Far from it. I am implying that we have to be cautious about what philosophies we allow into our belief systems, as they can make us more vulnerable when it comes to every other part of our lives.
Let’s say we embrace the idea that a particular race, or ethnic group, is descended from alien life forms, or was singled out as special by such visitors. From that belief, it’s an easy leap to see some sort of supremacy based upon physical characteristics in line with that favored group. A glance at history will show more than one instance of this mindset, often with horrific results.
Many Human Origin theories demean our ancestors by assuming them to be incapable of anything other than the basic skills of survival. These claims infuriate me. We stand upon the shoulders of giants. Our world has been made possible as a result of the work of every human who has lived on this planet. The Moai of Easter Island, The Great Pyramid, The Great Wall of China, The Pyramids of Mesoamerica, and all the other magnificent accomplishments of our predecessors were the result of the brilliance and hard work of human beings. To insist on anything else is to insult the very people who gave us life and to ignore the absolute proof of science and history.
Self-proclaimed experts on Human Origins present their theories on how you and I actually came to be civilized. Some of their theories have been completely inferred by shreds of “evidence.” Some are clever presentations of fact, laced with a personal agenda. Some raise legitimate questions that lead to new answers. Many theorists are completely sincere and believe in what they’re proposing. There’s nothing wrong with being open to new ideas and there's absolutely nothing wrong with being fascinated with the possibilities of alternative Origins. In fact, I welcome being exposed to new ideas. I love to be challenged and for my knowledge base to be expanded.
I don’t like being duped, or having half truths become the foundation of the beliefs of those who sincerely look for answers.
How can we know when we’re being led astray or following someone who’s deluded, or without merit?
Learn to recognize Circular Arguments. Circular Arguments are dangerous and often used to make a point that can’t be made. A famous circular argument is: The Bible is the word of God. How do we know? We know because it says so in The Bible.
Watch out for charisma. There’s a reason business uses celebrities to sell products. Their very presence makes us trust them, bringing a greater importance to the product they’re representing. Charisma is alluring, but can also be a ploy designed to confuse.
Beware of theories that portray humans as stupid, or childlike. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Watch out for spokespersons of a theory that become angry or abusive when challenged. Extreme emotion toward opposition is always a sign that there’s more going on than simple assuredness.
If you’re provided with an argument that you don’t understand, don’t give into accepting it. Often, ridiculous claims are made, that when accepted, can become the foundation of an entire system of thought. Question what doesn’t make sense.
“Experts have proven…” Which experts? What makes him/her an expert? Someone makes a claim that something is much, much older than history accepts. Are they capable of making such a determination with educated knowledge, or is it just a hunch?
Watch out for faulty logic. “Horses eat apples. Humans eat apples. Therefore, humans and horses are the same.”
Do your own research. You’ll be surprised how often facts are left out that would completely change the conclusions of a theory.
Don’t believe everything you read, not even this article.
Never, ever fear being wrong or taken advantage of when it comes to alternative thinking. It’s better to have given an idea the benefit of the doubt and conduct your own due diligence, than to just deny it out of hand.
You and I believe in things that other people don't. It's just that simple. We have open minds and embrace ideas that some may consider to be fantasy, but we know what we believe, hopefully because we've experienced it and know it to be valuable in our lives. It's vital that we know why we think what we do, otherwise we’re building a philosophy on knowledge as useless as dry-rotted lumber. Make no mistake; I’m a believer. My philosophy may not embrace astronaut gods, but I do embrace the beauty and brilliance of Nature, humankind and The Universe at large. I’m always willing to listen to another point of view. After all, I truly want to believe.
I wish you all peace and love.