An amazing transformation has occurred in modern science. It has been slow in coming and is one that many scientists avoid discussing: there is a point where science and religion coincide. The frightening truth about this agreement is that it isn’t about new age physics, the nature of God or the transcendent union of science and religion – it concerns the nature of man, or rather, the problem of man.
For many years, under the influence of liberalism and humanism, science tended to favour the logic of the ‘Noble Savage’. Violence and evil were human problems, probably caused by the conflict between our intellect and natural instincts. Nature was great, instincts were marvellous and sex was fun. This logic was buttressed with romantic notions about the innocence of animals, the moral purity of instinct, and the marketable icon of the harmless, playful, innocent ape. However, as science progressed, these notions fell like a house of cards.
During the 1970s science began to refine its interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This refinement became known as sociobiology – the inclusive fitness theory – or in journalistic terms, ‘the selfish gene’. It was popularised by Richard Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene. This discovery, which is now conventional scientific wisdom, holds that the ultimate driving force for evolution is the genes, the molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. The maximisation of genetic successes to assure the passing on of certain genes to subsequent generations. This principle, however terrifying in its ramifications, is the state of present evolutionary theory.
When this is combined with our new understanding of the nature of animal behaviour, a darker and more reflective scientific paradigm arises, one that has more in common with Gnosticism, a stream of thought that extends from the early followers of Christ.
A Man & a Chimp
Our relationship to apes has always been a matter of conjecture. We need to abandon the theories and debates about origins and consider the state of humanity at present. There are many ways to consider evolution: Whether we accept Darwinian evolution or a modification thereof, or that evolution was manipulated by ETs, God(s), or even if we consider we are part of a stage of a larger evolutionary cycle (Theosophy, Anthroposophy etc.), the fact remains that our present genetic inheritance indicates something about our present condition.
Science places modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens) in the centre of the ape kingdom. It says humans are part of the same lineage as orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos. The standard view of this great-ape ‘family tree’ is that humans and chimps are more similar to each other than either is to the gorilla – because chimps and humans diverged more recently. But with the publication of the sequence of the full gorilla genome in 2012, this theory has been overthrown. Scientists realised that much of the human genome more closely resembles the gorilla than it does the chimpanzee genome.
While they may seem affectionate and lovable at first appearance, extensive study in the wild has shown a far darker side to ape behaviour. Apes murder, rape and torture. They will defend their territory and intrude on any surrounding territories using guerrilla warfare, literally! In various studies of ape behaviour, it is estimated that at least forty per cent of all cases of copulation involves elements of violence, which would be interpreted as rape. Apes have short-term memories when it comes to companions. If an ape leaves one pack to join another, he becomes an instant enemy. Raids on other packs are frequent, bloody and brutal and involve ambush, torture and death. Apes behave differently from many other animal species and their aggressiveness seems very similar to human behaviour. It’s frighteningly clear that our genetic heritage is directly related to the ape kingdom. This invokes some fascinating questions and quandaries.
Apes and related kin are excellent reproducers. They create many offspring and continually reinforce their genetic heritage by territorialism and brute force. Researchers in this field raise the question: why would the ‘genetic program’ create what we understand as the conscious mind?
Many argue that intelligence developed as the result of enhanced hand-eye coordination by using tools. However, many other species use tools, including apes. Apes are quick learners, and use whatever they can find to open that nut, get that fruit, or crush that skull. But apes did not develop a high level of intelligence – only the offshoot of Homo sapiens sapiens. This argument sheds light on a fascinating possibility – was human nature tweaked? Did genetic engineering take place that modified available genetic substances to create modern humans? Such writers as Zecharia Sitchin and Erich von Daniken use this sort of reasoning extensively.
The darker side of this theory is why would an alien life form modify genetic substance without adequately balancing the social effects of the inherent flaws within the original substance? If an alien species, a deity or whatever was capable of manipulating genetic materials, then surely it would be aware of the destructive power within the primate form it was transforming. If we consider there was some manipulation of our genetic structure, then was this accomplished by a somewhat primitive and ignorant entity (which is unlikely considering the required technology)? An entity or force that was malefic and unsympathetic to the resulting human condition?
This may seem too much to grasp at first, yet if we consider the myths and legends that abound within humanity’s history, they all seem to include such tales of genetic interference.
The Gnostics believed that a false creator (Demiurge) formed Matter (the physical world), and humans were moulded out of fallen substance in an effort to trap particles of Light (preexistent Souls). Sitchin argued that an alien race (the Anunnaki) genetically engineered humanity as a slave species, but the early humans rebelled and developed consciousness. Numerous myths, stories and legends suggest someone or something interfered with the ape to create man, and all tend to see this creation as negative. While most religions insist that Matter is good and ‘God’ is the creator, other more esoteric approaches from the Vedas to the Gnostic suggest that Matter is at best dangerous, at worst malefic, and our creation was the result of either a miscalculation or error – or a deliberate destructive act.
This view posits that apes were engineered as a mechanism to trap Souls which existed in the ‘first estate’ (the spiritual worlds). Many Gnostic sects believed that the fallen creator, in his attempt to wrest control of the universe, first created Matter to encapsulate and control the Light. He then evolved the physical form of mankind to capture the preexistent Light forms and turn them into automations under his control. While we may debate details, it is certainly true there is a dichotomy between our genetic programming and mind (which is the gate for one’s true spiritual self). Even if we have trouble accepting the more flamboyant aspects of this theory, the split within humanity and the violent traits of our innate genetic programming cannot be ignored.
The Role of the Mind
The role of the mind in human development has been ambivalent to say the least. From one perspective it is our saving grace, from another it keeps us enslaved. According to Sitchin, the mind was genetically engineered through modifications to the brain so that a slave race could be created. Apes were difficult to command, so a brain/mind complex (however originally limited) was created. Through the dichotomy between the brain/mind and the instincts, mind control was achieved. Continuing from this argument, early religions and social structures would have worked as ‘control mechanisms’ to keep the slaves in their preordained roles. As time went on, however, the mechanism of control became the tool of liberation. Even the most limited mind/brain complex began to develop thoughts outside the ‘control spectrum’, and one thought led to another and ultimately rebellion. Whether we accept this paradigm or not, we can see that intellect has a contradictory role: it exists as an affront to what science understands as the normal evolutionary process and can work to enslave or liberate.
In this extraterrestrial cosmology, we deduce there are diverse alien species – some wish to help humans, while many desire to keep us enslaved. Accordingly, some early cultures worked to liberate humanity’s intellect, while some cultures, if not the same ones over time, regressed their culture back into slavery by the same means.
It is interesting to note that many early Gnostic groups had a similar view of human nature. In one Mandean account, we read of demons copulating together and their progeny being man’s body and mind. Man’s physical and mental forms are in direct opposition to his spiritual essence. In other Gnostic traditions, our mind is a mixture of light and darkness which offers the opportunity to ascend beyond limitation through its redemption.
Sigmund Freud argues that civilisation exists only in as much as it suppresses instinct, and in many ways we are now returning to his understanding. While pleasure may be the veneer that we accept as justification for our behaviour, not far under the surface is a pit of uncontrolled violence. The major contradiction in our culture is the desire for individualism – the more we demand freedom, the more restraints removed, the more we return to the unfettered ape-like creature we once were. As moral codes are loosened and as we gain more supposed freedom, crime, rape, murder and social disorder arises. As culture fails, the apes return.
If we contemplate the adversarial view of prehistory with evil alien forms controlling humanity for their own purposes, we can perceive it in different ways. Gnostics and some Christians may interpret this on a more spiritual level, with dominions and principalities, demos and demi-gods replacing the ‘little green men’. For the scientifically-minded researcher, we could replace aliens and demons with complexes and unconscious social control mechanisms (memes).Ultimately the symbol system is irrelevant. This model could be extended to explain the role of such figures as Zoroaster, Krishna, Jesus, Gautama (Buddha) and so on.
As humanity’s consciousness began to expand, it rejected the ‘social control religions’ and tried to make it on its own. However, humanity was unaware that the forces which created these paradigms of control also started the human mind on a journey of development. An immense conflict evolved. When man rejects tyranny, his instincts take over and a new tyranny, one of ape violence, comes into effect. He is caught in a vicious cycle.
The forces of Light, which exist beyond the contamination of Matter, decided to intervene. Over many millions of years, they sent emissaries to explain to man his real constitution and the conflicting nature of his being. Each avatar taught that man is a hybrid, a mixture of fallen Matter and Light ‘stuff’. Man is a split being – Animal, Intellect and Spirit – each with its own agenda and programming. The physical organism is made of fallen Matter and its programming is that of an ape ruled by the ‘selfish gene’. It is innately violent and destructive. In some sense it has its own consciousness, we could perhaps call it the ‘GE’ (genetic entity).
The mind is another problem. It was created as a modification to the brain but evolved into something more. It has facets (such as the brain stem) which hark back to its original nature, and yet has advanced nodes that offer interface to the spirit. It is a collection of false I’s, sub-identities and personas. It craves domination and works best under control, whether by a cult or ism or by TV and computer games. Its liberation is painful, yet necessary. The emissaries of Light have been giving man ‘wake-up’ calls for thousands of years, yet man does not listen. As soon as the emissaries die, sometimes even before, their messages are distorted and become part of the ‘social control mechanism’.
Aliens, DNA & Beyond
Ultimately it does not matter how we perceive our masters, whether we believe the extraterrestrial theory of our origins or see them in more religious, psychological or scientific terms. The point of reference for all these paradigms is spiritual: if the aliens created slaves, it was under the influence and control of greater and more malefic spiritual powers and dominions. The Gnostics said that Matter is fallen, nature is a trap, and man’s real self is locked in an eternal game.
As we move further and further into the Kali Yuga, the age of blood and iron, the game becomes more and more vicious. The ‘selfish gene’ is far more malleable than we care to realise, since it is an intrusion from a spiritual reality: it can transform and change according to new challenges. In the distant past the ‘selfish gene’ program realised man could not be controlled by the genetic entity alone, so it evolved new gene-like structures to control the mind like Memes. A Meme is a virus of the mind.
Meme: (pron. ‘meem’) A contagious idea that replicates like a virus, passed on from mind to mind. Memes function the same way genes and viruses do, propagating through communication networks and face-to-face contact between people.
– David S. Bennahum
Memes mould consciousness to fulfil the directive of the original DNA program. Memes transform meaningful social movements into bureaucracies, and take ideals and turn them into commodities. They take transformational technologies and turn them into mechanisms of control. TV, computer games and sport are means to stop us using our mind to any spiritual end by keeping it absorbed and controlled. Our entire culture is based on this premise: all thought must be controlled, albeit covertly, so that freedom is impossible. Democracy is simply the choice between different paradigms of control. Isms, cults and ologies offer further mechanisms of control. Many appear to be outside of the structure, but are really part of it.
Where Science Meets Religion
We have arrived in the new millennium, and science meets religion at last, yet in a way neither would have expected. By understanding the ‘selfish gene’, and the split nature of humanity, we have uncovered the reasons behind the constant tension and violent behaviour of modern man. Illusions are washed away when we truly comprehend the hybrid composition of human nature.