This is the tale of a tragic dynasty;The Mahabharata
a narrative of hatred, honor, courage,
of virtue, love, ideals and wickedness,
and of a war so terrible, it marked
the threshold between one age and the next.
In Judaism and Christianity, we have a snake in the Garden of Eden. In ancient Babylon the chief god was Marduk, whose animal symbol was a snake-dragon. In ancient India, there was a snake named Takshaka, who poisoned and killed King Parikshit. Seeking revenge, the dead king’s son decided on revenge and built a furnace. The Mahabharata states: “Serpents by the million, of every color … fell hissing, terrified, into the furnace.” The “devout son” of a “snake woman,” named Astika, was implored by his mother to save his kin. The young man was a “brahmin [intellectual] child of great sweetness,” who won the king’s heart. Name anything you might want, said the king. “Stop the [snake] sacrifice,” said Astika. And so, the snakes were saved. [i]
But what is a “snake-woman”? How can a brahmin have snakes as kinfolk? Obviously, the snakes of the Mahabharata were not the kind that crawl on the ground. In fact, these snakes were shape-shifting reptile gods called Nāgas. According to the Wikipedia, “The Nāga are divine, semi-divine deities, or a semi-divine race of half-human half-serpent beings that reside in the netherworld (palata) and can occasionally take human form.” They are the defenders of treasures, associated with bodies of water – rivers, lakes, seas. Their venom is dangerous to humans. Their eternal enemy are the Garudas, semi-divine birdlike deities associated with the sun.
It is curious, indeed, that in Egyptian mythology, the Apep (or Apophis) is a snake-deity or “evil dragon” or “crocodile” that embodies chaos. Before there was light – before the birth of the solar diety Ra – the Apep swam in the darkness of the netherworld and opposed the birth of truth and order (out of light). The ancient Egyptians depict the Apep as locked in eternal combat with Ra, being jealous of the son god’s light. Some Egyptian sources suggest that the Apep was born after Ra, and is not at all primordial – representing the theology of those who struggle against existence itself; that is, as a principle of negation.
In the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation we read of “a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Some authorities say this passage refers to the first woman, Eve, who is transformed into the person of Mary (mother of Jesus); others say the woman represents the Church or the people of God; others say it alludes to the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. But here is the point we should not miss: The woman is cosmologically under attack from a “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” [ii]
Undeterred by the red dragon, the woman brought forth a “man child, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” However, the Child was taken up to God’s throne. The woman escaped into the wilderness, “where she hath a place prepared of God,” where she was fed 1,260 days. Meanwhile, there was war in heaven. “Michael [the Archangel] and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” Here we find the battle scenes in Milton’s Paradise Lost: The red dragon “prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.” Only in this version, the Devil is not driven into Hell. He falls to earth. We read, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” [iii]
The victory of Michael’s angels is directly attributed to “the blood of the lamb,” though now our time line seems to refer to past and future events simultaneously. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” We then have a symbolic reference to the Great Flood: “And the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, a times, and a half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” [iv]
In terms of the deeper meaning of the monotheistic revelation as opposed to the polytheistic references to a great snake or dragon, Mircea Eliade wrote, “This takes place in time, in historical duration….” He then noted in the next paragraph, “[That] the future will regenerate time; that is, will restore its original purity and integrity. Thus, … [THAT TIME] is situated not only at the beginning of time but also at its end.”[v] Here the victory over chaos and darkness is placed in the remote past and future: with Eve in the Garden of Eden and with the final battle against the Beasts of Sea and Earth, and the Whore of Babylon, etc. All of history is thereby encapsulated, with the promise of regeneration; that is, with the promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth. It turns out, says Eliade, that the eschatological function of Christian Messianic thinking is actually resistant to secular history and its categories – “because it is known that, one day or another, it (i.e., history) will cease.” [vi]
History is the construction of the secular, mortal mind. It therefore represents an inferior point of departure, since God’s mind – the cosmic mind – looks down on everything from the standpoint of Eternity. Human history and concepts cannot fully explain – as Eliade says – a living eternal present coincident with archetypes; that is, with the snake, the reptile, the dragon, the twelve-foot shapeshifting lizards we are forced to contend with. The real building blocks of reality may be very different than we imagine. Our “scientific” categories may have missed the meaning of life altogether by neglecting the structural components of living form.
Consider, if you will, Karla Turner’s Masquerade of Angels. As a historian and an alien abduction victim, Professor Turner attempted to solve the Great Riddle of existence. She investigated and documented the story of Ted Rice, a victim of reptilian encounters since the tender age of four. After years of insomnia and terrifying dreams, Ted eventually recalled his “abductions.” Perhaps the most terrifying, the most traumatic memory, was being abducted with his grandmother at the age of ten. The aliens wanted him. They told his grandmother that little Teddy belonged to them. Ted’s grandmother defended her little grandson and got in their way. They promised they would kill her. The next day little Teddy asked his grandmother, “What was that last night?” At first his grandmother pretended not to understand the question. But then, she said, “That was the Devil, child. That was the Devil, but don’t you worry about it none. Your grandma took care of him, so don’t think about it anymore.”[vii]
After years of struggling with what happened to him, Ted Rice finally overcame his terror and recovered his fragmented memories. What he recalled with the help of hypnosis (however questionable) was an encounter with shapeshifting reptiles. The story itself is as fantastical as the Mahabharata, as incomprehensible as the book of Revelation, as evocative as Egyptian mythology. Here is what Ted remembered: He was ten years old. He and his grandmother were taken against their will by brown lizard-like men. They put a white nightgown on his grandmother and told her she was beautiful. Yet she was suffering from a pain in the back of her head. Then grandma’s deceased husband entered the room; only he was young and handsome. The grandmother saw through the fraudulent doppelganger. It is a lie, she told them. She then began calling out to Jesus. The lead reptile began “talking ugly.” The reptiles put something up to granny’s head. If she refused to cooperate, they promised to kill her. She still refused. They said she had no choice and had to learn from them; but she refused again. They want her to cure people. No! She would not. So they threatened to take little Teddy’s soul. Ted related, under hypnosis, his grandmother’s heroism.
She steps in between me and the reptilian man, puts out her hand and stops him. She’s telling him. She’s telling him that she’s not afraid of him, that she’s met him before. [viii]
The grandmother and the reptile argued about the child’s soul. “Jesus will not allow you to touch this child or take him,” said the grandmother. And that is when he foretold her death once more. The reptile then tried to seduce the grandmother, but she would have none of it. So, they brought in the fake grandfather, who had sex with her. “But when he got off her, it wasn’t him, it was a reptilian man. And that’s when she intervened. They wanted me, next, I don’t know, but I think it was sexual. That’s when she jumped in front and blocked the reptilian man. They were arguing, and he told her she would die for that. And she did.”
The abduction was horrific. It was a rape. The reptiles said they could make granny young again. But then they gang-raped her. And they raped little Teddy, too. All the while these reptiles were laughing, making fun. The grandmother said they would “burn in hell forever.” The reptiles mocked, “There is no hell.” She retorted, “You’re not going to have our souls.” And then they become angry. “You tricked me,” she yelled. “You tricked us!” The evil creatures took the grandmother and child back to the house and to their bedroom. They told the grandmother, “You’re going to die for this, because that boy belongs to us.” Two days later, Teddy’s grandmother died of a massive stroke.
Later Ted would say, “For a long time I wanted the rape not to be real. I wanted it to be an implanted suggestion, a hologram or virtual reality scenario. I even thought maybe they didn’t actually, physically rape us but somehow abused our spirits or souls instead, and the memory somehow came out that way under hypnosis. I wanted it to be anything but what it was.” [ix]
Ted concluded that the literal reality of the episode “did not really matter because the damage was done regardless, and it could not be changed. I was so ashamed, humiliated, embarrassed, and eaten up with contempt and anger that I thought I would rather die than let anyone know what happened, especially my family. But now I feel differently.” He had resolved on path forward. He wanted people to know the truth. “I want people to know just how deceptive their space brothers really are. I want them to know that the great and wonderful aliens are really like demons who aren’t supernatural at all, but are physical like we – only they have the ability to hide behind superior technology. I want people to stop being so gullible like I was, and start asking the right questions. We can’t settle for anything less than the truth, from our government and from the so-called aliens themselves.” [x]
Given this story, with all its questionable aspects, what are we to conclude? We see the ancient theme repeated. How do we explain it? How do we reconcile this with our reason, our science, our history?
The Ufologist Jacques Vallee added a peculiar postscript to his most important theoretical work, Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact. He wrote of a disturbing aspect of the phenomenon he was not fully prepared to discuss; but he dropped several hints. Under the heading, “Next Form of Religion,” Vallee wrote, “In the course of twenty-five years of investigation into paranormal phenomena one hears many stories.” A UFO subculture now exists in every country. People are dropping out of society after alien encounters, or hearing voices. They are waiting for instructions. “Why bring all this into the open?” asked Vallee. “Because flying saucers, real or not as objects, clearly introduce a central element in an already troubled landscape.”[xi]
That troubled landscape is the subject of this blog. The fact is, we are headed toward evil times. Vallee sees the reflection of apocalyptic visions in UFO phenomena. Abductees like Karla Turner and Whitley Strieber have been shown visions of a future thermonuclear war by so-called “aliens.” Vallee hinted at this, but could not bring himself to say it outright. When I wrote to him in 1991, guessing at the truth, he immediately wrote back (by post, not by email). Vallee was deeply troubled by what he found. “Salvation from heaven [from UFOs],” he pondered, was not to be trusted. “Shouldn’t we know something more about the helpful stranger before we jump on board?” [xii]
Against these profound, worrying observations from a scientist, we ought to contrast the cartoonish revelations of David Icke, who believes “the Queen of England is actually a shape-shifting reptilian lizard from outer space.” How does Icke’s narrative fit in with the traumatic experiences of Ted Rice? According to the Express (UK), “Icke subscribes to the Illuminati conspiracy theory that a secret society made up of the royals, political and business leaders actually pulls the strings of world … governments, from behind the scenes.” [xiii]
Perhaps I have misunderstood, but Alex Jones seems to be a reader of Icke. And there is nothing wrong if Jones and Icke are making money off their respective narratives (which do not read at all like the terrifying story of Ted Rice). Yet Jones and Icke do not struggle with truth and meaning as Karla Turner struggled. If I am not mistaken, they have applied a set formula to the thing. They have derived a secular truth from a non-secular set of experiences. And if we read Charles Fort’s shocking words, from the Book of the Damned, about someone owning the earth; or if we read William Bramley’s God’s of Eden, or John A. Keel’s Eighth Tower; we are going to grasp Icke’s formula and Jones’s formula as deriving from writers they never seem to properly acknowledge; for they have mixed Charles Fort with the John Birch Society, and they left out the attribution. They have intertwined sacred literature, archetypes of the collective unconscious mind, with an alarmist political narrative. What is true and what is false in all this? Perhaps it is not a question of true and false, but a question of mixing political ideology with the symbol sets of demonopathy. It strikes me as wrong, somehow. If they are going to look at the world through a conspiracy lens, should they be mixing it with the Bible, or Egyptian mythology, or UFO contact experiences which may never be rationally understood? Should we supplant real political analysis with attention seeking behavior in the form of a political science fiction cartoon with H.P. Lovecraft flourishes?
What is the dimension of mind and soul, after all? What is Eternity? As mammals, the reptile is our ancient enemy, our predecessor in a world of successive things. We must admit the truth. The spirit or demon, depicted as a reptile, is yet another kind of enemy. Older than us. Envious of us. We see here a living exemplar of primordial chaos. The ancient Egyptians were not wrong in their myth-making. This darkness, this chaos, is somehow afflicting us. It is inside of us. If matter is the substance and the symbol is the form, what is the book of Genesis really telling us? What is the book of Revelation really telling us? Each book relates a story of destruction and creation. Both are related to the soul – and to cosmic forces.
Today we are entering a realm of chaos. It is the realm of dark forces: the realm of the snake or dragon or shapeshifting lizard. We are besieged even in our dreams and visions by these reptiles. Look around at our world. We are entering into a terrifying period of spiritual disintegration, lost in a wilderness of lies. What is a specter, a ghost, a goblin? It is a premonition, an omen, an augury. It is that evil shape in the corner that you catch a glimpse of out of the corner of your eye. It is a guilty thing that reflects our guilt back on us. It is not extraterrestrial, though it might take the shape of a saucer. It is not even interdimensional because, after all, ghosts are inside of us.
Surely, the soul is not another dimension. Surely, the soul is the primary ground on which all being rests. Without the soul would anything exist at all? And here we discover our nihilism anew – in our denial of soul, spirit, specter, goblin, archetype! For what is a reptile that can take the shape of a man? Is this not a metaphor for the evil man? Look in the mirror and see if you are starting to lose your shape. Are those eyes, looking back at you, lizard eyes?
Links and Notes
[i] Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling, trans. Carole Satyamurti (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2015), pp. 3-5.
[ii] Revelation 12:1-4, King James Version.
[iii] Revelation 12:9.
[iv] Revelation 12:10-17.
[v] Mircea Eliade, trans. Willard R. Trask, The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History (New York: Princeton University Press, 2005), pp. 105-6.
[vi] Ibid, p. 111.
[vii] Karla Turner, Masquerade of Angels (USA: KELT WORKS, 1994), p. 48.
[viii] Ibid, p. 233.
[ix] Ibid, p. 253.
[x] Ibid, p., 254.
[xi] Jacques Vallee: A Casebook of Alien Contact (USA: Ballintine Books, 1988), pp. 248-249.
[xii] Ibid, p. 250.
[xiii] Jon Austin, “David Icke explains his infamous theory why ‘Queen IS a shape-shifting reptile,’” EXPRESS — https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/768800/David-Icke-queen-shape-shifting-lizard
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