A Great BEING, Everywhere

Cover. Early Morning in Machu Picchu , Peru [2010]. Photography: Pedro Szekely.


This text is replicated from an Introduction by writer at American Esoteric, Collin Conkwright. 



To the Seeker

Given that our primary theme deals with world religion, mythology, and magic, we have to begin with a context of the concepts involved, gradually uncovering the sources and plugging holes in the leaking galleon of modern religious thinking.

As a start, imagine yourself somewhere in the world at an allegedly early stage in human development. We are not concerned with the exact date. Whatever the time is, we can pretend that we have a mind for survival and wonder, hope and fear. We recognise the value of creativity and protection, and we have the forethought of finding, hunting, and cultivating the foods to sustain us. We see birth and death in the world and know it to be true for ourselves.

Inevitably the sun rises and sets, the four corners of the world keep their place and the stars appear to move around a fixed axis in the heavens. The sun descends south in the winter, where it is reborn following the winter solstice.

Our body is among the first practical proofs of the natural order. We count the number of our fingers and toes and consider our appendages and their utility, understanding that if we lose a part of ourselves there are serious consequences. We feel the electric sensations of our senses, and the polarisation of qualities like hot and cold, health and illness, starved and satisfied. Every day more patterns emerge, like the pleasing geometric varieties of flowers and crystals, and the instinctual urge to ascribe a value to appearances.

There is movement and there is stillness, and in between, there is love, guilt, hatred, and anger. We realise we exercise zero control over this reality but evolve toward total control over our experience of it. Unless people are forced and tricked into giving up their powers of control, we find out there are ways to voluntarily submit that are beneficial to all, or beneficial for few.

As these early humans, we could have taken too many paths to quantify. Commonly understood, we might say these paths were limited to being a part of a tribe, a member of a city, or a mobile band of hunters, trackers, and gatherers. But perhaps there were always peoples of a more ancient culture. An isolated, displaced group, who remember an earlier age where things were extremely different, and society was either a more glorious or treacherous phenomenon.


And so the tellings of history.

We find that the world around us maintains qualities that are fundamentally similar, no matter our location. We can infer the cardinal directions [north, south, east, and west] through the placement of specific stars, seasons through specific planets, and months by the measure of light on the moon’s surface.

The orbs in the sky are a universal source of life and wonder to all humans. The sun in its warmth lights the way, whereas darkness leaves us blind, cold, and affects our energy. We resort to firelight if we can. If not, we resort to stillness, watchfulness, and keeping an eye out for the predacious creatures that hunt by night. The primal fear of the night is also a universal and useful trait, often fundamental in the religious narrative.


Darkness carries the themes of evil, and light is its vanquisher. 

We see other balls of fire and light as well, scattered in the night sky. We witness great meteors and wonder about their source. Some elders may have an answer as to what these are, and most of the youth adopt them. While some wonder more, ‘is this truly what it is?’ And then others who have come into our culture from afar propose entirely different reasons behind natural events. Some of us propose that a great conscious being is active in the natural world, some that there was always a plentitude of such beings, and if you behave in certain ways, this or that deity will favor you.


The reasons behind natural phenomena become the keys or the obstacles to new spiritual beliefs.

Early humans knew they weren’t the only creature to walk the lands, that others existed but were different in appearance, language, and heritage. What if these unconnected people have established their own beliefs and will defend them equally, if not more ferociously than we would our own?

In common we give and take life to live. In common we are changing beings passing through a changing world, and we find that no matter what, everything is in a permanent state of change. The world shakes. Forests catch flame. Whole civilisations succumb to war like a rampant plague. 

To progress requires us to transform and rearrange reality to our benefit. Language allowed us to organise the qualities of life into a sharable, mental order and transmit ideas as befits our needs. This offered the advantages of common purpose, delegation, and the transmission of vital skills. Moreover, it provided the means for the explanation of the spiritual presence in reality.

By the early faculties of voice and symbolism we pried out mysteries in the natural order we would have otherwise missed. And wherever language, symbol, and gesture failed us, other archetypes, other gods were at work that we couldn’t help but experience in common.


The Dating Problems

We can discover a lot about the thematic modes of life lived by the early human, but we still gain precious few details. We want to say we can imagine what it was like in the past, but we also know the benefits of realistic confines.

That said, we truly do not know how long humanity was in this state of discovery and development before recorded civilisation arose. Often in the last century, it has been suggested and even given as irrefutable fact that humanity couldn’t have been of a mind to think and be as we have just stated, until 50,000 to 65,000 years ago. Apparently, civilisation had not yet been 'invented' until say 5,000 to 3,500 BCE*, and this is supposed to be the parameter within which we define our earlier state of consciousness.

*BCE [n.] Before Common Era or Before Current Era or Before Christian Era: used when referring to a year before the birth of Jesus Christ when the Christian calendar starts counting years.

But our dates of practices such as agriculture, religion, and the establishment of cities and government keep getting pushed back. Which makes us wonder about earlier episodes in our history as of yet undiscovered.

This redating is courtesy of finds like Gobekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe in Turkey; two megalithic sites dating back to at least 11,600 years ago, and most certainly artifacts of a culture familiar with agriculture, megalithic architecture, astronomy, and a culture that for some reason deliberately buried the entire Gobleki Tepe building complex.

How many more back-dated structures will there be? The pyramids around the world, especially those in Egypt and Mexico seem to many to speak to an age of humanity capable of industrious astro-architectural feats. Feats all but impossible to design with the tools of the copper and bronze ages. Take the water erosion on the Sphinx, indicating it could have been built some 10,000 years ago rather than 2500 BCE.


Is it cataclysmic cycles like that which brought an end to the last ice age some 12,000 years ago that act as a kind of reset program for civilisation?'

Mysteries of ancient man abound, and their myths live on to breathe life into their legacy. And what hasn’t been found but perhaps does exist, gives life to an even greater intrigue.

For how did it come to be that the Mayan people, who were astronomically superior and populated to the tune of tens of millions, all but abandon their vast cities and leave behind a wealth of ruins and whispers, with little to no trace of what became of the people themselves?

How about the Phoenicians, who were probably the inventors of the alphabet and the merchant ship? The Phoenicians were a thallasocratic*, Semitic-speaking civilisation with origins in the Levant, known to have dominated trade in the Mediterranean and to have been prolific writers. They were far-reaching enough to trade tin with the British isles in the 2nd Mellinia BCE. And yet, perhaps in line with their reputation as an exclusive and secretive people, and due to the weakness of their writing materials, little to none of their texts survive. 

*thallasocratic [n.] a state with primarily maritime realms, an empire at sea, or a seaborne empire.

Well, all this we must address in good time. For now, we have no choice but to table the outrageous number of historical uncertainties.

For within the spiraling cycle where humanity, world, and universe, commingle to produce all of what it has, there are a particular few examples on our world that we define as universal. And when I say universal, I don't mean the primitive observations of weather, texture, or physical likeness, but I mean a deeper conviction brought out from potent spiritual factors we have not yet grasped.

This is feeling intrinsic to our nature, beyond cause and effect, proclaiming the existence of great BEING, everywhere uniquely symbolised, and everywhere incapable of separating from the human experience. This is God.

Humanity’s development of religious practices might as well be writhing in the dark of Hades. Indeed, the birth of religion and myth seems to come full-blown like Athena from the head of Zeus, as soon as recorded history starts. But we can be sure that in the complex nature of mythology and the phenomena of widespread spiritual conviction, a long period, and perhaps long cycles of development were required before entire civilizations could agree to them.


The systems of myth and religion must serve an immediate need of a people in order to be adopted, and a people must have a use for the things in which they believe.

Let’s take the virtues for instance. A people come to understand the benefits of virtue from its results. Not from whether or not the thing can be proven materially or if it makes sense to the sympathies of an authority. For in the employment of honesty there develops trust and loyalty. How else would the food be brought back to the village or the crops be sown responsibly? How else would the shelters be built or the children be born with any sense of a survivable future? How, without trust and honesty, would a people be protected, or be valuable enough to protect?

Virtues like these allow for agreements that are requisite for civilization to operate. And when crimes or ill deeds are committed, and this trust is broken, the man needed ways to explain why, and the people needed ways to explain why the trust can’t be broken.
We could expand as to why the early human could easily see what fruits virtues bring, but what fruits do religion, magic, and ritual bring? What do they provide the early believer that nothing else could provide? And why is it that, as far as we look back, such beliefs as those in gods and spirits and ceremony seem to be everywhere abundant? Why did the early humans look out into nature and into themselves and embody the same truths?

Many have suspected that precursor civilisations with their own doctrines and legends, left these behind to their successors. That is, left behind the seeds which eventually grew into the heroic myths passed down through history; the themes that constituted the bedrock of the entire religious monument. 

The structure of mythology alone gives us much to ponder. Were the gods once kings and queens among Man, now remembered through their divine attributes? They were certainly personified as such, in a way that gave us the means to build similarity with them. They were exaggerated possibly both to impress the children with their imagery, and plant allegories which the elders and initiated alone would be able to sift for value.


Are the conquests of light over darkness, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of an omniscient super-consciousness programmed into us by natural prerogative?

Looking into the beliefs of the ancient world it isn’t difficult to assume that God had a kind of 'plan,' leaving traces of itself everywhere, inevitably leading to hard questions and the realisation that we a part of something inexplicably connected.

We have as far back as we can reach, legends of a past that seem to frown upon the present with a chin held high. We have the legends of a golden age where gods walked the earth alongside man. This we find in the writings of Hesiod, and the legends of Egypt, and we can certainly see some congruence to this story in the Garden of Eden.
What must we make of it all?

Looking out into the natural world, the developing human saw hints of a grander message in the relationship between life-forms and noticed how they might also be reflected in the inner life of consciousness.
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