GLOBAL ECOLOGICAL MIND
by Bethe Hagens
111th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting
November 14 – 18, 2012
Precisely at this time, as climate change threatens to devastate populations across the planet, global social media exchanges of every imaginable variety have created a liminal information ecotone (AKA “global ecological mind”) that dances around a shared and deeply rooted framework of assumptions about the cyclic character of events of destiny in grand scale time.
The oldest, and most clearly written Western model of this staged unfolding of Time with a capital T is found in Plato's Timaeus , a dialogue set in Athens in 425 BCE. Socrates asks Timaeus (a pseudonym for a philosopher/statesman that Plato is believed to have known) to explain creation and the dynamics of the universe. Timaeus sets the stage with “the god's” creation of a perfect and immaterial sphere: the Universe Universal, a World Soul that spins eternally on its axis, the Spindle of Necessity. It "always is , and never becomes ." It encompasses everything. “Nothing could be taken from it or added to it, for there was nothing that could be; for it was designed to supply its own nourishment from its own decay and to comprise and cause all processes, as its creator thought that it was better for it to be self-sufficient than dependent upon anything else” (Stephanus, 1578, p. 33).
In Timaeus, Earth is set at the center of the sphere of the World Soul. The visible, material world—the product of the masculine Demi-Urge – coheres closely, though not perfectly and sometimes disastrously, to elemental feminine geometric patterns (the Receptacle) suffused invisibly throughout the World Soul. Matter is by definition “imperfect” because it is constantly transforming and "becoming."
Timaeus introduces the cycle of Fate via the sun, moon, stars and planets – the backdrop for all ancient cultures—which "periodically hide each other from us and reappear, causing fear and anxious conjecture about the future to those not able to calculate their movement” (Stephanus, p. 40). He cites an old story “from my grandfather, who was already an old man when he got it from Solon, who got it from an Egyptian priest” . . . that, "There have been and will be many calamities to destroy mankind. . .and there is at long intervals a variation in the course of the heavenly bodies and a consequent widespread destruction by fire of things on earth" (Stephanus, p. 22).
The primary teaching in Timaeus is that the World Soul, because it is perfect, is a predictable mechanism. It introduces the so-called Platonic solids, perfect geometric “elements” of earth, air, fire, and water which are part and parcel of "Space" within the World Soul.
I've written extensively about these complex connective geometries which interlock symmetrically within the 120-triangled sphere of the “Receptacle” (or “Nurse of Becoming”) that permeates the World Soul. Remarkably, the molecular geometric structure of a "new" form of carbon (C60) known as the fullerene, "discovered" in 1986, is an identical geometry and has been found to be distributed throughout the galaxy.
My work evaluates the usefulness of the Receptacle as a multi-dimensional predictive model of Earth phenomena, extending original work by my now deceased colleague in Moscow, Valery Makarov, who was originally inspired by a passage in Plato's Phaedo to the effect that, "the earth when seen from above is said to look like those balls that are covered with twelve pieces of leather” (p. 110)—a dodecahedron.
Using a 12-inch globe, Makarov and his colleagues found they could align a dodecahedron with the mid-Atlantic Ridge, centering the figure on the north and south geographic poles.
Just in the past decade, the most promising current model of the Universe has been the dodecahedron. "A universe with the same shape as the twelve-sided polygon can explain measurements of the cosmic microwave background – the radiation left over from the big bang – that spaces with more mundane shapes cannot" (Luminet et al., 2003, Nature 425 593).
Makarov expanded his model to include another element geometry, the icosahedron. When I was introduced to this work in 1982, there were no illustrations of the Receptacle. William Becker and I proposed that "orbits" very confusingly described in Timaeus referred not only to the movements of planets and stars but also to the Receptacle itself. We realized that its “120 identical surface triangles” could also be visualized as 15 great circles or "orbits, each bisecting the sphere of the World Soul.
A similar model of "hoops" is present in mythologies of the historic tribal peoples of North and South America. The triangles are obliquely referred to in the Christian story of Pentecost ( Acts, Ch. 2 ) in which 120 tongues of fire descend upon the followers of Jesus.
Early in the process of trying to confirm Makarov's alignment, I identified what I still think of as an “orienting circle,” a global meridian through the geographic north and south poles and through Gizeh where Egyptian priests had told the story of the destruction in 9400 BCE.
Many ancient maps suggest grounded knowledge of this placement of the geometry. Google Earth has vastly changed my awareness of the imperfection of matter, and especially the fuzziness of of predictability which seemed so easy with a 12-inch globe.
Timaeus encodes a virtual alchemy of material connections and transformations among earth, air, fire, water and the dodecahedron.
I have worked from these interpretations of Receptacle geometry to predict topography, resources, weather, migration patterns, civilizations and massive earthworks, anomalies, and other Earth phenomena.
More important to me now is whether the Receptacle/World Soul is a cyclic, predictive geometric clock of precession and destiny. Plato wrote that the “Spindle of Necessity”—the axis of spin of the World Soul – is the power that keeps the heavenly bodies revolving around Earth. The Spindle is attended by the “Fates.” Because the entire material world, with Earth at its center, is in a constant state of transformation, its axis of rotation is “imperfect” and never aligns exactly with the Spindle of Necessity but slowly wobbles around it at an angle of 23.5 degrees, one revolution taking 25,920 years —a “precession cycle.”
The ecliptic, the fixed and unchanging observed path of the Sun around Earth, marks the equator of the World Soul, which is always oblique to the equator of Earth because of the precession wobble. Two times a year, however, at the equinoxes, the equator and the ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection move or “precess” along the ecliptic at 1 degree every 72 years.
At present, the Spring equinox point is about to move into the zodiacal “age” of Aquarius. Very simply, the Greek zodiac divides the 360 degrees of the equator of the World Soul (the sun's path) into 12 “ages,” each 30 degrees or 2160 years in precessional time. A complete zodiacal cycle is 12 x 2160 = 25,920 years.
An “orienting circle”, akin to the one on Earth, let me fix the position of the Receptacle pattern on the observed sphere of the sky. This circle is aligned to three of the brightest observable stars in the entire sky – Sirius, Canopus and Vega – each quite prominent in world mythologies. This alignment is accurate to within ½ a degree. The June solstice sun aligned with this circle in 1000 CE – a time marked around the world by increased sky observation, panic, the formation of centers of learning, and phenomena I am still compiling. Fixing this circle made it possible to identify other alignments. The plane of the Milky Way aligns with another of the 15 circles. The Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, currently almost entirely “cannibalized” by the Milky Way, is now described by astrophysicists as a ring of fragments circling our galaxy – along still another of the circles.
What is too weird is that the perfect sphere is totally an illusion, as the observable sky is not a spherical surface.
Why is all of this sky graphing in the days of science and the Hubble telescope important for a global model of ecological mind? First of all, the knowledge of zodiacs and calendars is mathematical and experimental – potentially a universal language. The geometry of the Receptacle divides the zodiacal “clock” of the ecliptic into 20 equal segments. Significantly, the “fixed” sign/segments of the Greek zodiac (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius, and Taurus) align with the Receptacle geometry. There is mounting evidence that the 20 Maya-Aztec calendar “days” also represent 20 predictive segments of their precession cycle: 20 celestial “days” of 2196 years = 25,920 years.
For perhaps tens of thousands of years, astronomers around the world, in both hemispheres, observed (and sent emissaries across the continents and oceans to observe) the positions of Sirius, Canopus, and Vega to determine the precise location in Time of their “imperfect” world.
Based on 25 years research on bullroarers and their symbolic association with the axis of the worlds, I aligned what appears to be an image of the Spindle of Necessity on the Greco-Roman circular ceiling zodiac at Denderah in Egypt with the image of the Tecpatl-tongue-bullroarer on the Aztec Sun Stone.
The fallout is a synthesis of the 12-segment and 20-segment zodiacs, with significant graphic and mythological alignments clearly visible. . . and clearly beyond the scope of this presentation.
Most important to me are dates of events in ancient times which align with dates of summer and winter solstices at the beginnings/endings of these 20 segments – such things as sudden climate change, migrations, civilizational upheaval, massive regime change.
It is hard to evaluate how much calendar alignment is “real,” and how much is selective memory that perpetuates an underlying belief in the predictive cycle of perfect waste and regeneration of the World Soul in an imperfect world. This must have driven perfectionist mathematicians among Hindus and Maya nuts. Today, a cadre of indigenous elders of the Americas teach that we are “in” the Alpha/Omega of a complete precession cycle -- a place within the Space of the Receptacle, if you will – not a precise date such as December 21, 2012.
John's Revelation predicts the descent from the sky of a cubic New Jerusalem . I've previously suggested that this event was heralded by the solstice alignment in 1000 CE and the rising, now and for the next several hundred years, of the Winter Hexagon to center sky at midnight on the December solstice. The hexagon can easily be visualized as a three-dimensional “cube” with the Lord (Orion) and the Lamb (Monoceros) standing upright within.
We have come to a time in the precession cycle in which the axial pole of Earth is at a maximum extreme orientation to the center of our galaxy. Both summer and winter solstice suns rise in the Milky Way, creating doors and pathways for the dead to the ancestors and the gods in so many cultures.
What we have here, potentially, is an ancient map for compiling world wisdom about change, phenomena of earth, and those events “at long intervals” where there is “a variation in the course of the heavenly bodies and a consequent widespread destruction by fire of things on earth."
We have a geometric, time-centered, graphic framework for exploring and sharing the wisdom and strategies of mythology, ancient science, and indigenous wisdom in the context of modern science. This is probably what I will do with the rest of my life, in the name of global peace.
These files are protected by a Creative Commons license. Any of the information and graphics may be copied and freely shared as long as (1) the author and source are cited; (2) the Creative Commons license is acknowledged; and (3) the material is not sold. Please contact me if you have a question about using any of these materials.