-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Russ Kick writes: H. G. Wells is best-remembered as a late-Victorian pioneer of science fiction, mainly due to his 1890s novels The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. He cranked out dozens of books in numerous genres of fiction and nonfiction, and 1945—the year before his death—saw the publication of his last two books to come out during his lifetime: The Happy Turning: A Dream of Life and Mind at the End of Its Tether. The Happy Turning is a slim, strange work that gets even stranger as it continues. Wells sets it up by claiming that sometimes he dreams about taking his daily walk and coming across a pathway he’s never noticed in real life. Taking this turn (the “Happy Turning”) leads him to the utopian Dreamland (a/k/a the Beyond), where his body is perfectly fit, where society knows no war, poverty, or inequality, and where his “subliminal self” lets loose with a flood of “cryptic and oracular” symbols. Wells then steps back in time to relate some dreams he had when he was young, including the one that “made me an atheist.” Having read about “a man being broken on the wheel over a slow fire,” the preteen Wells had a nightmare. “By a mental leap which cut out all intermediaries, the dream artist made it clear that if indeed there was an all powerful God, then it was he and he alone who stood there conducting this torture.” Upon awakening, he felt that he had two alternatives: go insane or stop believing in God. “God had gone out of my life. He was impossible.”
Tag Archives | Mythology
Today is the winter solstice; the solar nadir in the northern hemisphere. This temporal event in Spaceship Earth’s rotations finds the sun take its lowest path through our sky and the daytime hours are fewest; the axis of light flips; a planetary New Year. This is an event that many wise people have encouraged us to recognise as the origin of our ‘modern’ festive experience. The word solstice derives from the Latin ‘Sol’ meaning Sun and ‘sistere’ which means to stand still, because this is exactly what it appears to do. Our sun, having clambered ever lower over the horizon since midsummer, seems to be disappearing, perhaps eternally, an experience which was no doubt a source of unquestionable anxiety to early peoples. When the sun was henceforth ‘reborn’ from the horizon, into a fresh cycle of light, there was much rapture and hedonistic release. It is not hard to recognise a common origin of the many religious rebirth mythologies in this event.… Read the rest
Site editor’s note: The following is excerpted from The Secret History of Rock ’N’ Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music by Christopher Knowles (Viva Editions, October 2010). Used with permission.
I like to think of the history of rock & roll like the origin of Greek drama. That started out on the threshing floors during the crucial seasons, and was originally a band of acolytes dancing and singing. Then, one day, a possessed person jumped out of the crowd and started imitating a god.
Most historians believe that the Mysteries began at the end of the Neolithic Age (also known as the New Stone Age, roughly 9000 to 4500 BCE), making them one of the earliest cultural developments known to humanity. Coinciding with the development of agriculture, the rituals were designed to appeal to the grain gods of the Underworld by acting out their myths, which celebrated the cycles of planting, growth and harvesting.… Read the rest
I arrived at Siobhán’s new digs in late evening, after more than three hours of driving north through blustering gusts of cold air, along deserted Wisconsin state highways and country lanes, ringed with a seemingly endless succession of pale grey and weather-worn barns, silos and stubble fields of harvested corn, punctuated every 30–40 miles by the glistening plastic pillars of some shopping center, gas station or outlet mall.
And while the sterile fakeness of it all might seem utterly foreign on the surface, I was soon reminded just how integral a part of this place’s heritage Death worship is.
When I passed the familiar gloom of the Lac Butte des Morts fens, I recalled that this place used to be Winnebago country, supposedly the prehistoric stomping grounds of Red Horn, the Ho-Chunk culture hero who freed the land from the tyranny of monsters hunting his people like vermin, and the native place of Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca, rival brother gods of the Aztec people who led their people from wintry Aztatlan in the north to their current patrimony in the Valley of Mexico.… Read the rest
Thanksgiving commemorates the successful harvest and a time the Pilgrims gathered to give thanks, sharing a feast with their Native American neighbors, who had made possible their survival in the New England wilderness.
“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” written by Henry “Dean” Alford, the gifted Christian leader of the 19th century and distinguished theologian and scholar, is considered to be one of the finest harvest and Thanksgiving hymns in all of the hymnals of Christian singing.
Writers and textbook publishers of American history have generally omitted or, if mentioned at all, glossed over historic accounts of genocide and inhumane treatment of American Indian populations.
The mythology of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights is a national story of great significance to the way the United States views itself.
The United States of America was founded on the fundamental principle of freedom of religion.… Read the rest
Ancient Greek texts reveal the earliest recorded sighting of the solar system's most famous comet 2,500 years ago. Since then, Halley's Comet has repeatedly cameoed in history, getting credit for toppling armies, birthing empires, and even killing Mark Twain.
Halley's Comet is the most famous of the short-period comets, which are comets that complete their eccentric orbits in 200 years or less. It's the only short-period comet that's visible to the naked eye, and its 76-year circuit means it's the one comet that pretty much everyone can hope to see once, if not twice, during their lifetime. Because of this uniqueness and its often dazzling appearances, it's become something of humanity's companion throughout human history, popping up again and again in historical records.
Martin Evans writes in the Telegraph:
… Read the rest
Researchers exploring the legend of Britain’s most famous Knight believe his stronghold of Camelot was built on the site of a recently discovered Roman amphitheatre in Chester.
Legend has it that his Knights would gather before battle at a round table where they would receive instructions from their King. But rather than it being a piece of furniture, historians believe it would have been a vast wood and stone structure which would have allowed more than 1,000 of his followers to gather.
Historians believe regional noblemen would have sat in the front row of a circular meeting place, with lower ranked subjects on stone benches grouped around the outside. They claim rather than Camelot being a purpose built castle, it would have been housed in a structure already built and left over by the Romans.
Via the Fortean Times:
… Read the rest
He knew that inside the temple the mystery of his existence, of his purpose in life, would be answered. He was about to cross the threshold when he saw, rising up from Europe far below, the image of his doctor in the archetypal form of the King of Kos, the island site of the temple of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine. He told Jung that his departure was premature; many were demanding his return and he, the King, was there to ferry him back. When Jung heard this, he was immensely disappointed, and almost immediately the vision ended. He experienced the reluctance to live that many who have been ‘brought back’ encounter, but what troubled him most was seeing his doctor in his archetypal form. He knew this meant that the physician had sacrificed his own life to save Jung’s. On 4 April 1944 — a date numerologists can delight in — Jung sat up in bed for the first time since his heart attack.