Moderns and Mythology: The UFO Gods

I first became acquainted with what I call the UFO religion when studying the Sumerian Gods. Starting in 1976, Zecharia Sitchin (Note 1) wrote a series of books detailing how humans are the slave species of these Gods. Sitchin said that he realized from reading the Sumerian myths that aliens had colonized the Earth. For him, the myths were not mere stories but actual history. According to Sitchin, the Annunaki (the Sumerian Gods) created people to mine gold for them.

Pondering Sitchin, I discovered a cottage industry of authors starting with Erich von Daniken (“The Chariots of the Gods”) who claim that ancient aliens are the Gods of humanity. Not only that, humans are a construct of these aliens. An example of this cottage industry is a recent title is “DNA of the Gods: The Annunaki, Creation of Eve and the Alien Battle for Humanity (2014)” by Chris Hardy. It would appear that ancient aliens (the UFO Gods) satisfy the sensibilities of post-modern people.

How did the UFO religions become so popular? To start with, modern industrial people regard the old myths as irrelevant and stale. They want new myths which are global in scope and value modern sensibilities. They also want myths to be scientifically true. This follows what Joseph Campbell wrote about myths in general. (Note 2) He said that they should be plausible and fit with the scientific awareness of the time.

Secondly, the old faiths represent the old world of restricted freedoms and ignorance. The replacement religions are rooted in corporate materialism, which gives a terrifying vision of decaying societies. Therefore, the new religions must embrace things beyond this world. UFOs and aliens are more accessible in this post-modern world than the Gods.

Today, the reverence that was allocated to the Gods is now for the Myth of Progress. In modern industrial society, the idea that literal Gods exist is scoffed at. The ancient myths have become fairy tales. If the Gods do exist, they are psychological constructs or archetypes that spring from the subconscious of humanity. In other words, humans are the creators of the Gods. However, this leaves an inner emptiness.

Believing in the UFO Gods allow people can stand in awe of the heavens. With aliens, people can experience the Divine under the blessings of science. Alien contact (and disclosure) is only a day away from official validation, thereby making that more credible. Technology as developed by aliens is an expression of the Divine. Science has melded with religion to satisfy the longings of post-modern people.

Hence to some, the ancient myths have become accurate histories of prehistory. The aliens with their technology encouraged primitive humans to believe that they were Gods. In the UFO religion, this means that one day, humans could meet the aliens on their own terms. Then humanity could be Gods thereby fulfilling the promise of the Myth of Progress.

The monoculture of the industrial world has homogenized diverse world cultures into one bland one. The monomyth of this culture encourages people to mix and match various myths into an uneasy whole. As the Gods and heroes are relics of the past, so the UFO mythology is for the future. It allows for the myths to be explained as alien interventions. Religious history then becomes the history of aliens on the Earth. Mysticism in the modern materialistic world is the belief in alien Gods.

Note 1. Zecharia Sitchin claimed to be able to read both Sumerian and Akkadian. According to Sitchin, these aliens came from the Twelfth Planet of Nibiru, which had collided with Tiamat, and formed the asteroid belt. (Nibiru and Tiamat are names of Mesopotamian Gods.) One of the last books he wrote was “The Lost Book of Enki: Memoirs and Prophecies of an Extraterrestrial God.” Another was “There were Giants Upon the Earth: Gods, Demi-Gods, and Human Ancestry, the Evidence of Alien DNA.”

Note 2. Joseph Campbell, noted mythologist, said that (1) “myths should awaken the ‘mystic function’.” (2) The image of the universe that the myth provides should be in tune with the scientific awareness and general knowledge of the actual world. (3) “Myths should validate the norms of society that have adopted it.” (4) “Myth can act as a guiding force for each person.” (5) In their original versions, myths are for the underdeveloped mind.

Further reading:
John Michael Greer, “The UFO Chronicles.”
Dr. Allan Hunter, “Spiritual Hunger: Integrating Myth and Ritual into Daily Life.”
Diana Walsh Pasulka, “American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology.”
Paul Wallis, “Escaping from Eden.” And “The Scars of Eden.”

Mythology and Moderns: Paul Wallis and “Escaping From Eden”

Originally an Archdeacon of the Anglican church in Australia, Paul Wallis now “researches the world’s mythologies for their insights on our origins as a species and potential as human beings.” He explores “our shamanic and mystical traditions, ET contact, and our place in the universe, and how we can be more conscious and more awake for a better human experience.” Wallis regards mythology to be a monomyth told through the prism of individual cultures. He says “as I joined the dots from one mythology to the next I could see that the very strangeness of the stories and the unlikely repetition of those strange motifs stand as evidence that in these mythologies lies a body of ancient collective memory.”

To Wallis, mythology is sacred storytelling. He writes that “it is the memory of us, who we are and where we have come from. Ancient stories survive for a reason because generations have connected with it. The stories tell us a recognizable truth about the world we live in.” This is the manner in which he approached reading the Bible.

As an Archdeacon, Wallis wrote extensively on Christian hermeneutics, which is the practice to find hidden meanings in texts. Biblical hermeneutics can be divided into four parts – literal, moral, allegorical, and anagogical. The literal is the physical dimension – “the thing is what it is.” The moral asks “what is the ethical intent of something.” The thing is evaluated by a set of abstract principles. Allegorical is the mirroring between the thing and what it represents. “Everything stands for something else.” Finally, there is the anagogical (metaphysical) – “What is the higher reason beyond the thing.”

Wallis grappled with the writings of Genesis, which for him held too many contradictions. Since he wanted to reconcile all of them, Wallis first looked at the names of Adam and Eve. The Adam (of the Earth) stories were about Earthlings. The Eve stories (the Living) were of the living. He could feel the current of the clarity and depth of those particular words.

Then the walls fell when Wallis tackled the word “Elohim.” This term could either mean “God,” “Gods,” or a special class of beings. If YHWH was referred to as Elohim, Wallis asked then what was being interpreted. Wallis decided that the word meant “Sky People,” (Note 1.) who were powerful but mortal beings. (In other words, they were extraterrestrials.) Reading the myths of Genesis, he became aghast at the violence against humanity as told in The Tower of Babel, the Flood, and the Fall. (Note 2.) (Note 3.) The myths of the Old Testament are therefore a history of aliens behaving badly according to Wallis.

Researching further, Wallis concluded that the world myths were describing extraterrestrials as Gods. His new understanding of the word “Elohim” made him question the nature of his reality. In “The Scars of Eden,” Wallis relates how the myths detail space aliens experimenting on humans.

Wallis claims that in organized religion, there is no such thing as an informed orthodoxy. Instead, there is a mainstream doctrine that defines and polices heterodox thought. This doctrine brushes away other interpretations. He concludes that there is a deliberate forgetting that happens in this process. Therefore, the fact that the Gods are aliens is forgotten, while the Gods as divine beings is enforced. Wallis believes that religion’s role was to have everyone toe the line.

Wallis uses the principles of the Enlightenment to apply to the interpretation of myths. The Enlightenment says that people should think for themselves, and base their beliefs on reason. Hence any beliefs derived from tradition should not displace a reasoned judgement. (What is left out is that tradition can be a source of truth.)

According to Wallis’ reasoning, the Gods were based on humanity’s contact with a technologically superior species. His personal gnosis of space aliens ruling humans is based on scientific literalism. He sought to find the literal truth of mythologies. Embracing freedom of thought, Wallis now sees alien Gods.

In my opinion, Wallis exchanged one orthodoxy for another. For many modern people, belief in aliens is possible, but not in Gods. He has embraced the new religion of UFO Gods. (Note 4) Wallis has simply displayed the biases of the modern industrial world. That world insists on a monoculture and a united theory of everything. Therefore, ancient myths are homogenized into one monomyth of human uniqueness.

Note 1. Wallis refers to “Elohim” as “Powerful Ones/ Sky People/ Engineers.”
Note 2. Wallis believes that the True God (his capitals) is the creative source of humanity with a vision of love and justice. The True God is the “harmonious source of all things.”
Note 3. According to Wallis, Jesus of the Gospels came to liberate people from hierarchies and from living in fear.
Note 4. The UFO religion has its doctrine and dogmas. The central one is that extraterrestrials have been a part of human affairs since prehistory.

Further reading:
John Michael Greer, “The UFO Chronicles.”
Diana Walsh Pasulka, “American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology.”
Paul Wallis, “Escaping from Eden.” And “The Scars of Eden.”

Modernity and Myths: Introduction

I am planning to write a series of posts over the year on myths and how modern people regard them.

In the 4th Century, Sallustius wrote one of the oldest known treatises on the Gods – called “On the Gods and the World.” According to Sallustius, myths were divine since they represent the Gods (Themselves) and their activities. He wrote “That myths are divine can be seen from those who have used them… But Why the myths are divine is the duty of philosophy to inquire.”

Sallustius asserts that the meaning of myths may not be apparent to everyone. Although the Gods do give commonsense to everyone, not all use it. “To teach the whole truth about the Gods to all produces contempt in the foolish and the lack of zeal in the good.” He explains that hiding the truth compels people to ponder it. Therefore, myths have revealed (clear) and unrevealed (hidden) aspects of the Gods. Sallustius does assure everyone that “the soul may immediately feel that words are veils to the truth which is a mystery.”

In his treatise, Sallustius divided myths into five categories. Theological myths speculate on the essences of the Gods. (These myths interest only philosophers.) Psychic ones discuss the Soul, while physical myths tell of the activities of the Gods in the world. (Both psychic and physical myths are for poets.) Material myths concern the archetypes of the Gods such as Apollo as the Sun (however the Gods are never archetypes). Mixed myths, the most common, aim at unifying the humans with the Cosmos and the Gods.

In contrast, people raised in industrial societies of the modern age have different ideas. They have many problematic assumptions of myths in general. For example, traditional myths today are regarded as stories to entertain. In contrast, history, which supposes what did happen, is the truth. Actually, history is selective in remembering certain events and deliberately forgetting others. In the minds of modern people, myths and histories have become fused to create a particular vision of reality. One example of this is the myth of progress, which is regarded by many people to be fact.

Moreover, time and memory are regarded differently. The Ancient Greeks viewed time as a block – past is future and future is past. Therefore, divination is prescience since it dips into the time stream. Modern people, in contrast, see time as an upward arrow – past is past, and future is future. Oral tradition is faulty, whereas the written word is true. The Greeks believed that the written word was suspect since the writer could change the myth. For them, oral tradition what was faithful to the truth.

Read a version here:

A Modern Interpretation of the Lilith Myth

The Astrologist Tom Jacobs in his book, “Lilith: Healing the Wild” explores how a modern person can respond to the Lilith myth. (Note 1.) The title of book implies that Lilith represents that part of modern people which needs to be healed. By accepting Lilith back into their lives, they can experience their wildness more fully. Jacob’s goal in writing his book is to “transmute anger into proactive, constructive, activity to become willing to introduce the natural, wild, feminine into our daily lives.”

The story of Lilith is briefly as follows. God creates Adam and Lilith to keep each other company. Later Adam decides that Lilith should be subordinate to him. She refuses, and tells him that they are equals. However, neither of the two will relent in their stated positions. Frustrated, Lilith pronounces the Name of God, and flies off to the Red Sea beyond God’s domain. (Note 2.)

Enraged Adam tells God that Lilith has run off. God sends three angels to bring her back to Eden. When they find her, the angels tell Lilith that she must return or else. If she does not, each day, one hundred of her children will die. (Note 3.)

Shocked, Lilith tells the angels that God has appointed her to watch over children. Neither God nor Lilith will budge in their demands. Seeking revenge, Lilith tells the angels that she will kill Adam’s children and exploit men. Finally, the angels agree that any child who is wearing a talisman will not be killed by Lilith. Meanwhile, she becomes a demon who kills babies.

Jacobs breaks the myth into points to ponder for a modern person:

  1. Asserting equality. Lilith tells Adam that they are equal, since she has the right to exist just as she is.
  2. Meeting attempts to dominate. Lilith remains steadfast against Adam. She acknowledges the reality that she faces with Adam’s attempts to change her.
  3. Flight. Lilith uses her power to leave by pronouncing God’s Name. She goes beyond God’s jurisdiction into the unknown. For Lilith, leaving is an act of health.
  4. Separation. By leaving the only the home that she has ever known, Lilith becomes traumatized. (Jacobs says that this part of the myth is rarely explained.)
  5. Rage. Lilith feels betrayed by God for forcing her to choose between returning or having her children be killed. She meets God’s violence with her own.

Jacobs decided resolve Lilith’s rage and restore her to wholeness. He continues the original myth from the “rage” point. By rewriting the original myth, Jacobs encourages modern people to accept their “natural wildness.”

  1. Grieving and mourning. The loss of her home and her children bring unimaginable grief to Lilith. Coupled with the pain of God’s betrayal, her process of mourning is overwhelming.
  2. Accepting responsibility. Lilith has to take responsibility for her part of what occurred. She chose to kill children. If Lilith does not accept responsibility, she will remain disempowered.
  3. Recommitting to what is important. Lilith needs to be clear to what is truly important to her.
    Using compassion, she allows her wildness to flourish constructively.

I present Jacobs’ ideas as how modern people approach a difficult myth. Rewriting is one way of delving into the myth. It does allow the person into the mythic landscape. However, myths in general tend to be rewritten to reflect modern sensibilities. This is why Jacobs felt the need to continue the Lilith myth to a satisfying end for his readers.

Note 1. Jacobs believes that he channeled a being who is said to be a child of Lilith.
Note 2. A version can be found here. Lilith – History, Stories & Interpretations of The First Woman |
Note 3. These are the children that she had with the beings who lived around the Red Sea.

Lady Haight Ashton, “Pagan Portals: The First Sisters: Lilith and Eve.”
Tom Jacobs, “Lilith: Healing the Wild.”

Revising Myths: Beginning Thoughts

Many ancient myths are viewed through the lens of modern sensibilities. Because most people regard myths as a tool of social instruction, they consider the old myths to be outdated. Greek myths are deconstructed to show how Hera was deposed by Zeus or Proserpina by Hades. Then, these myths are rewritten with the female Gods restored to their “rightful places.” (The underlying religious philosophy of an old myth is usually ignored or misinterpreted.)

I put “rightful places” in scare quotes since the people revising the Greek myths believe that the Patriarchy overthrew the Matriarchy. For example, the Jewish myth of Lilith, they say, is really about enforcing the Patriarchy at the expense of women. This myth supposedly shows the stages of the disempowerment of women by men. The Goddess was defeated when Lilith choose to become a demon instead of returning to Adam. The Goddess followers seek to redress those wrongs. In their retelling of this myth, Lilith reclaims her power. Now not only is the former Matriarchy reasserted, but the existing Patriarchy is overthrown.

Because Western culture is monophasic, the concept of a myth creating a new reality is alien to many. Monophasic perception regards reality to be only waking thought. Furthermore, rational thought demands that everything has to make sense. “Trust the science” is the motto of monophasic cultures.

Meanwhile in polyphasic cultures, people access new perceptions through dreams, imagination, meditation, and trance. Because these forms act as portals to other worlds and dimensions, they fill in the gaps of the waking experience. In polyphasic cultures, “Dreamtime” can be world building.

Myths can be considered world building as well, for they connect directly with the sacred. In a myth, the creation between the conscious and the unconscious takes on a new creative energy. This becomes a new cosmos. However, the temporal relationship between the mythic and human worlds is complex. Mythic time runs differently than does human time and can fracture human reality. In fact, a person can move in and out of various realities without knowing it.

Therefore, the modern revisions of myths do create new worlds. By doing so, they have changed the axis mundi of the original myths, and reordered previously held perceptions. The axes are flipped with the vertical now the human world and the horizontal the Goddess (or Gods). This reorientation of sacred space requires further consideration, since it changes the values attached to different spaces. (Such as what are mountains now in the mythic landscape?) Moreover, the relations between the macro and microcosmos has shifted.