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Mills, Myth and Science

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.mythology,alt.pagan.magick,alt.astronomy,alt.archaeology
From: Seyfert-1 
Subject: Mills, Myth and Science
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 05:41:08 GMT


50030620 viii Pisces-Age-Y2006

Barry pointed this out during my request for Mill correllates:

># By Terry Alden (who is this person? why should we believe them?)
># Copyright 1991

re "Hamlet's Mill" and T.Alden: 
> If I remember, he also thinks the book rambles so much that
>   it takes a lot of patience to read it.  Because of this,  on his
> site he has tried to streamline the main drift of Santanilla and
> Deshend's ideas about the importance of the precession within
> various mythologies and the concept that used to be so shocking
> back in the late '60s----that there might be scientific content 
> in these things preserved as oral tradition. Alden tries to 
> simplify and summarize.

in giving this site a second chance, my first impression is a 
very bad one. he misquotes A.C. Clarke as if Clarke were some kind
of Crowleyan (misspelling 'magic' as 'magick', perhaps displaying
his own Neopagan or Thelemic biases).

Alden's Mission Statement [ ]
is admirable excepting certian mechanistic and teleological biases
which I find irrational, but which are commonly-shared by a good
number of materialists who can't stomach conventional religious
hogwash. he was apparently a friend and comrade of Dr. Marshall McLuhan,
whose work I know little, yet by Alden's description do not impress me
as particularly scientific. in fact, it seems Alden has confused the
ideas of science and religion to such an extent that he misunderstands
the essential amoral status of science vis-a-vis religion and seeks
some kind of restitution to imagined glories of the distant past.

I see no other material on Santillana or "Hamlet's Mill" at his
site beyond what he calls his 'solution' to "the mystery of the 
Star of Bethlehem" and a reconstruction of "the astronomical 
methods of the Babylonian Magi to determine the true date of 
the dawning of the Age of Aquarius (May 10, 2437 A.D.)"!

needless to say, I find his material less than convincing.

> I think that you may be right that  his own bias misrepresents 
> the material somewhat. He overreaches when he conflates
> Santillana/Dechend  with Joseph Campbell and Jung.

looking more closely, I'd say his bias is far worse than this.
> read a lot of crap of this subject too.


> the reasoning itself is consistant enough to stand alone 
> as a good theory. if you have any comment on that one 
> i'll have to re-read it.

I doubt he originated the Star/Conjunction theory and am
not really interested in discussing Alden's material further
except to point out its somewhat common problems.
> Does he really say that the move from old to new is "evil"?

here's the text I quoted:
# ...Upsetting the divine order and regularity of the cosmos was 
# an evil factor and this was associated with the phenomenon of 
# the precession.... 

the notion of the Cosmic Balance Upsetter as evil is common,
and proceeds from dualistic minds more often than those with
a firm grounding in many theories or from strict monism. this
is in part why I inquired about whether the figure of Hamlet
was the Bad Guy (Upsetter of the Table) or the Good Guy (the
one who makes things right by fixing things). I'm not saying
it has to be either one, but the bivalence would seem to be
a complication in the Hamlet/Amlodhi mythos that could serve
as a reduction of universalist claims. Alden claims universal
significance in his Mission Statement and elsewhere and for
this reason I take him less seriously.

> ...this whole business of evil as it applies to the 
> representatives the forces of decay, along with the idea
> of things "unlucky"-- like dates and numbers or creature 
> of ill omen. All of them spring from widespread cultural 
> bias that favors positivistic ideas.
> Things  like newness, sex, life, youth, growth, health,
> wealth, expansion and stuff that symbolizes that, instead 
> of their complimentary opposite symbols of decline, decay, 
> old age, etc that we celebrate at Halloween.

the bias in the above comment favours the STATUS QUO (i.e.
the change upsets the fixed image the interpreter wishes
were the actuality). this is the commonplace religious
standpoint which tries to set Aries in the East at Spring
Equinox sunrise and leave it there PERMANENTLY, or hope
that a 360 degree correlation will mesh with our solar year,
or any number of other non-natural dreams without basis.

I am convinced at this point that the existence of the 
unnatural Creator God has been *demonstrated false* by 
the scientific discoveries of the 365.4... day (what a 
calendar!) and the shifting Terran precessional wobble. 
the issue becomes very quickly (cf. "Hamlet's Mill") 
just *when* this science was established and how it is
that religion DESTROYS OR OPAQUES knowledge it cannot
deal with in its simplistic and supernatural cosmologies.
> The whole Mill thing provides a cyclical mechanical 
> structure that is given dramatic flesh in the gods, 
> heros and characters that personify all its aspects.

the Mill does not tell us from where it came. the Mill
does not express its origination and commencement of
grinding out Time. the Mill does not inform us except
by some anthropomorphic legend who or what set it in
motion, just that it is turning. 

the story of Amlodhi/Xiwangmu/etc. informs us that the
Mill is somehow Created, Fucked up, or Repaired. it is
an indicator that there *is* change, but on its own it
tells us nothing about how Amlodhi (and sometimes the
Mill too) came to exist in the first place. for that
we must move to what is conventionally regarded as the
content of "mythology". 

religion attempts to usurp this presumed scientific
knowledge by presenting us with a fixed system that
is unbalanced or repaired by Cosmic Intercessors.

religion sets the whole in a context which satisfies
human desires for control, domination, and changeless
reliability -- something which Xiwangmu's Grindstone
and science constantly remind us that we don't have.

note the focus on CONSTRUCTIONS here (mills, potter's
wheels, grindstones, etc.), proceeding from the
teleological fallacies inherent to many (esp. Middle
Eastern / Western) religions, and due to the limits
of perception based on light-waves, something which
modern science cannot dissuade (you don't know how
many times I've heard people tell me that we've now
proven that the Big Bang is the Cosmic Beginning).

this is all anthropocentric and biased thinking that
has as its eventual result the entry into the exact
kind of dualism which you mention above. for comparison,
and in light of this severely limited mentality, we
may wish to come up with shifting *TERRAN* models
which grow, change, move, and are not the creation
of any Cosmic God. 


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