Monday, 2 July 2012

The Vessels

As most readers of Amid Night Suns will be well aware, over on The Secret Sun, Christopher Loring Knowles has done a lot of excellent work exploring what he calls the Elusive Companion Hypothesis.  The idea that the sky-gods of antiquity are not simply the nonsensical legends of primitive peoples, and neither are they simply extraterrestrial progenitors - as most Ancient Astronaut theorists believe.  Rather, our Elusive Companions are mysterious beings capable of manipulating the normal rules of Space-Time, capable of all manner of PSI phenomena.  They seem to have an affinity with the processes of altered states of consciousness, entheogens and shamanic experience.  Indeed, they have much in common with the entities described in our folklore; the Elves, Faeries, Djinn and shapeshifters that most mainstream thinkers disregard as nothing more than myths - creations of pure fantasy.

But it seems these Elusive Companions are far more than the products of an overactive Imagination.  In Christopher Knowles recent post The Wisdom of Mystery he describes the Companions as:

 "entities that over the past millennia have been perceived as-- or presented themselves, depending on your point of view-- as gods, spirits, demons, angels, fairies, Djinn, aliens, ghosts, poltergeists and so on and so forth.

I believe that these entities somehow exist outside the normal boundaries of space/time and are usually perceived according to the state of mind of the percipient. In other words, if your head is filled with snakes, you're going to perceive these entities as demonic. If you're a "fluffy bunny" type, you'll perceive them as angels or space brothers. It's kind of like an acid trip in that regard.

I also believe that these entities are part of a greater hierarchy which reflects the greater cosmos. I think this greater hierarchy communicates with human beings through the manipulation of symbol and time, a process more commonly known as Synchronicity. This hierarchy is both an objective and subjective reality, in that it exists within and without the human imagination."

I believe that this view of of an otherworldly presence intertwined with human affairs is far closer to the truth than a simple, impermeable Extraterrestrial Hypothesis. I believe this for various reasons.  Firstly, the shamans and visionaries and artists of the Earth consistently inform us that our scientific, materialist view of reality is woefully incomplete.  They tell us that we are in fact living within a mystical, artistic, symbolic universe in which everything is interconnected - and that consciousness is far more than the illusory by-product of the physical vehicles it uses to express itself.    

Secondly, in philosophy this kind of fuzzy-universe idea is often referred to as the 'Subject-Object' problem.  What is truly subjective and what is truly objective?  As Knowles states in the above quote, in regard to these Elusive Companions: "This hierarchy is both an objective and subjective reality, in that it exists within and without the human imagination."

This is a profound insight from Knowles that I believe deserves further attention, and is the reason I decided to write this post in the first place.  The idea that something can be both an objective and subjective reality, existing within and without the imagination, is an idea that most mainstream thinkers find terrifying - as it seems to collapse all notions of discrete, well-defined boundaries.  If this Subject-Object blurring is indeed possible then all our comfortable certainties about our knowledge, cultures and identities come into question.  But recent developments in the strange field of Quantum Physics are increasingly highlighting the fact that at a deeper level of reality discrete particles are also waves of probability, and might also imply that an Observer (i.e. consciousness) has an integral part to play in the manifestation of seemingly three-dimensional Space-Time.  Many physicists seem hesitant to discuss this idea even as a hypothetical possibility, perhaps due to its obvious mystical implications.

It seems to leave the flavor of 'turning reality inside-out' in the minds of those who engage with this idea seriously.  But this feeling of turning reality inside-out might be able to teach us some things, and offer us some valuable insights.  If the phenomena of non-locality and wave/particle duality ARE genuine aspects of the physical world and not just forms of dream-logic and poetic association -- then this seems to imply that there is a fundamental shapeshifting quality to literal, material reality - through its interfacing with unseen, energetic realms.

And this is the core of what I want to discuss with this post: Shapeshifters.  I'm not just talking about ideas popularized by David Icke's Reptilian Shapeshifter's - although I'm not completely discounting them either, as I believe the images of the serpent and the Dragon are powerful mythic and psychological tropes.  But I'm far more interested in the notion of shapeshifting as an imaginative postulate from which we can hopefully garner insight and wisdom. 

To begin exploring this postulate, I should mention the ultimate mathematical shapeshifter - the Fractal.  The idea of the fractal has been popularized by the Koch Snowflake; an infinitely self-replicating mathematical pattern...or what is sometimes referred to as a 'Nowhere Differentiable'.  Again, the notion of the fractal as a concept that contains itself endlessly within its own structure seems at least atmospherically similar to the notions of the ancient mystics and seers in relation to consciousness.  

Also, we might be forgiven for this notion calling up images of the DNA double helix in our minds - an entwined spiral of information that also contains the information to replicate any and all parts of the complete spiral.  In this sense DNA can almost seem like a self-referential paradox, or feedback loop; something that can only refer to itself in order to create itself.  So in this way we might figure DNA as the bedrock program or Master-Key of all organic life.

This notion of self-replication calls to mind the controversial question of Genetic Memory: "Can an individual's memories be somehow contained in cellular tissue, and passed down to progeny, so that memories, dreams or even abilities are shared with the inheritor of the original tissue?"

But here is the biggest and most interesting question, at least to my mind: Is DNA itself a shapeshifting conduit for what we might term 'magical' energies, or 'inter-dimensional' frequencies?  This question needs to be asked because while DNA might recall ideas of the fractal, so too does it recall ideas of magical serpents and supernatural dragons.  Our microscopes show us that the visual structure of DNA is similar to that of a spiraling staircase or two entwined serpents.  After all, we have the entwined winged-serpent symbolism of the Caduceus of Hermes from Greek mythology, the Herald's Staff that is often 'mistakenly' associated with the medical community.  Also we have the Rod of Asclepius closely associated with the medical community too.  There is a lot of artistic resonance here.  

Asclepius was the ancient Greek god of healing and medicine.  But, interestingly, legends of necromancy have always been associated with Asclepius.  Necromancy literally means 'Death Magic'.  In this brief quote from Wikipedia:

Zeus killed Asclepius with a thunderbolt because he raised Hippolytus from the dead and accepted gold for it.  Other stories say that Asclepius was killed because after bringing people back from the dead, Hades thought that no more dead spirits would come to the underworld, so he asked his brother Zeus to remove him. 

One might imagine that in order to be a successful Necromancer in the real world you would need a very sophisticated, nuanced comprehension of DNA. 

This idea of interlinked twins is not only found in the serpent symbolism of the Caduceus, but also in biology itself.  There exists the phenomenon of biological Chimeras - individuals formed from at least four parent cells (two fertilized eggs or early embryos fused together). Each population of cells keeps its own character and the resulting organism is a mixture of tissues.  Put another way, the chimera is formed from the merging of two non-identical twins. 

"Imagine being told by a doctor that a twin, one you never knew you had, exists inside you. It is well known that fraternal twins arise from two fertilized eggs that develop into non-identical siblings. Less well known is that these two zygotes sometimes overlap and fuse so completely as to develop into one body with two distinct sets of DNA, a phenomenon called tetragametic chimerism"


Originally a Chimera was a fire-breathing entity from Greek mythology that was a blending of various animals.  These days a Chimera describes any fictional creature with parts taken from various animals.
It is interesting to note the twin motif in this biological situation.  This merging of two non-identical twins is connected to the phenomenon that biologists refer to as Parasitic Twins and Vanishing Twins.  This is essentially foetal resorption by the dominant twin, and can manifest in various degrees of twin-merging.  Again, this recalls the entwined serpents of the caduceus – DNA -- but is also perhaps symbolic of our mysterious Twin Other; the Elusive Companions that seem so intimately involved in human affairs.

The idea of the Twin in mythology and art is a powerful, multifaceted one.  The dark twin, or dark brother.  The doppelganger, the nemesis, the shadow.  Also, let's not forget the idea of parallel incarnations existing in the Quantum Multiverse; a favorite reoccurring trope of Science-Fiction. These things, while not pointing to any specifics, still give us a strong flavor of meaningfulness.  There are more connections here than just the ones we can identify.

So, perhaps all these resonances point to a stunning idea: that biology is as fuzzy, interconnected and mystical as the apparently three-dimensional space-time that spawned it.  Perhaps there is some strange shapeshifting aspect that is fundamental to organic cellular tissue, owing to the entwined magical serpents of our DNA.  And also a complimentary shapeshifting aspect fundamental to Space-Time, owing to the wave/particle duality of Quantum Physics.  As Hermes Trismegistus states: As Above, So Below.

So, with all this in mind, what are we to make of the idea that we are the progeny of sky-gods?  I believe this idea contains profound truths.  But what if the Extraterrestrial theorists have it backwards? What if our cellular manipulation reflects a greater spiritual manipulation?  The manipulation of human potential by magical, mysterious Elusive Others?

I want to end this post with a kind of Thought Experiment, that will hopefully enrich our questioning.  I'm going to present it as a very brief short-story about humanity's possible origins:

Once upon a Time in the days before Time, before Chronos ate his children, the Earth was a different Realm.  There existed the Ocean Below, and the Ocean Above.  And the place where the Twin Oceans met and kissed.  This place of the Kiss was the Realm of Sentience.  One day, from the Ocean Above, came the Sky-Gods.  And too from the Ocean Below came the Deep-Gods.  These gods appeared and gathered in the realm of sentience; that place of the kiss between two Twins.  

These gods set about creating Chimeras – both Imaginal and Literal. They intended to create a priest-class race that they called 'The Vessels'.  This Vessel Race were entities that were essentially physical Angels.  They were intended to be Guardians of this Realm of the Kiss; conduits and mediums of the raw infinite.  They were a profoundly powerful, magical creation who were destined to become the Teachers and Stewards of the Imagining Consciousness existing in the kiss between the twin oceans.  

But a war broke out between the gods of Sky and Deep.  Politics changed, new alliances and new enemies formed.  Eventually, some of the gods began to see the Vessel Race primarily as forcibly-habitable.  They began to perceive their shapeshifting qualities not as conduits for teaching, learning and evolution, but as ways to manipulate, dominate and control.   And so the Vessel Race was corrupted, used as ‘diving suits' for dark inter-dimensional beings wishing to interact with this realm, used as rallying techniques to establish new hierarchies of royalty and religion.  Some of The Vessels were fully possessed by beings of plasma and Light.  Others were autonomous beings despised or gloried, hunted or worshiped. A great confusion and horror took hold of the Earth.  

These Vessels were then told by malevolent interested parties that, in fact, they had not been created as a benevolent priest-class of Angels -- rather they had been engineered as a slave race.  And the magic of their essence was denied, suppressed and controlled.  But the benevolent forces that initially created The Vessels continued to guide, inspire and encourage them in subtle that the truth of their destinies was not completely lost within the ferocity of Chronos' appetite.  Time would not completely kill The Vessels.   


  1. great stuff raj. food for thought indeed!

  2. Thanks man! Much appreciated!

  3. Vessels indeed. This place sure can feel like a meat suit in a holodeck sometimes.
    That article about the chimera twin absorption was something I hadn't heard of before. Scientifically it's interesting and legally what a nightmare....

  4. Trapped in the body of a dying animal...There is magic in your words of life for all to hear...I enjoy the time that I spend in the liminal landscapes you create my friend, and feel that many more need to read your words and experience your visions.