'It is the general opinion of mankind that we must seek our good fortune from the gods but look for wisdom in ourselves. We may consecrate shrines to Reason, Faith, and Virtue, but we know that it is only in ourselves that they are to be found. But from the gods we ask the fulfillment of our hopes of safety, wealth and success. Therefore the prosperity and good fortune of the wicked, as Diogenes so often said, absolutely disprove the power of the gods.'
- The Nature of the Gods
'If conscience goes, then everything collapses around us.'
- The Nature of the Gods
Though they may have no longer believed in the power of the Gods in these late times in the days of Cicero, they still believed in their existence. It is the intention of this book to prove their existence and why, as in these times, they suddenly abandoned the people.
This book is, I believe, the first 'holistic' study of man and his position in the world. Looking at the popular press of science books, particularly by so-called noted scientists, it is sorely obvious that eclectic thinking is missing from them for most of these people are studied in one area only with very minimal use of the myriads of others. How could anyone study Neanderthal man or even Napoleon without knowing what they ate, their environment, their physiologies, etc? The issue of whether or not Ancient Astronauts lived is a very touchy subject with the Carl Sagan gang, as I call them, scientists who just are not studied enough in all fields. This national clique has everyone believing that all scientists believe as they, but this is definitely not true. Just as with the theory of evolution, another subject of aggravation to many, but which, we will see is very much a part of this study too. It is a shame Albert Einstein is not around today when the debates over the issues of Ancient Astronauts is at its highest for he believed that man today is but the remnant of a once highly civilized and technological society. He would have sided more with Erich von Däniken and Zecharia Sitchin than the Saganites and perhaps we would have had less quibbling over this controversial topic. I used to be rather undecided until, as a student of pathology and other natural sciences, I started reasoning that if all of what the Ancient Astronaut proponents said occurred were true, then there should be biological evidence of it. Taking the old texts and scriptures at face value is not enough; there has to be other evidence to collaborate, it and I believe I have found it.
As I began reading the histories of Egypt, Sumer, India and Hebraic peoples, I began getting a pattern of history that no one seems to have recognized because we have allowed the Bible to influence our research through the ages. I kept seeing paralleling stories in all these texts and a new story to man's ancient past erupted. The latest translations of the , or , the great India epic, (which itself means "The Great Story," and indeed it is!) has been looked upon as nothing but tales, but I was amazed to see the same stories in the Egyptian, Hebrew, Sumerian and, biblical histories. How old these histories of India are, no one really knows, but they, like the Egyptian and Sumerian, predate the Bible by thousands of years. Only by the wedded bliss of the natural sciences such as psychobiology, pathology, and a score of others, can we ever divorce the true history from the exaggerations and myths picked up along the way by man as he recorded his past. This is another part of it too, for all these histories stemmed from a common source, perhaps a record of the events left by the "gods" themselves, and it also points to a common origin of these people. The translations of the by J.A.B. van Buitenen published by the ' has been a herculean task for this man who should receive credit for a superlative job. There are many versions of the Veda, but the stories all collaborate one another more or less much as in gnostic literature of the Bible, another forgotten source, for we shall see just why the Dead Sea Scrolls may have been hidden from us and written in such secrecy. But we are also indebted to Van Buitenen for he disbelieves the Ancient Astronaut theory, which
is a plus for those of us who do not, for he is then not biased in his translations.
There has been much debate that our government is concealing facts concerning UFO's, hollow earth, etc. I too was undecided in this until I delved into the past. It is rather narrow-minded to be skeptical that in this enormous universe someone else would not have already gained the knowledge we ourselves are trying to seek. We just do not know all there is to know in the areas of physics and the natural sciences to make a definite yes or no to this. The Loch Ness Monster is a good example. It is not so much, is it believable, but is it possible? Considering the fact we still have thousands of animals and millions of insects yet to be identified there is no reason, and certainly not from a natural science point of view, why it could not be true. One of the big problems in science is that we have too many people voicing opinions who are only studied in mathematics and physics and very few in the biological sciences for this is a high-tech world caught in the last stages of its own decline because people do not employ all the sciences together for that is the true scientist. Remember the gorilla, the coelacanth, animals they said were extinct, until they found them? It is nice to be confident about your world, it makes us feel secure, but putting horse blinders on may distract us from seeing the truth and dealing with it. It takes more intelligence to believe in evolution, that it takes to believe in it, I have found. Those who are fanatics in its belief remind me so of the church that has kept man in the dark for ages. I am not a Creationists per-say, but they have certainly hit the mark on many things by bringing up issues in science that are an embarrassment to the Saganite gender. But to teach such a shaky theory in schools is putting horse blinders on very young minds who should be able to explore the world for themselves. Quite frankly, this is communistic. Believe ! or else you will not pass the grade. I have read scores of scientific literature on evolution and they begin to all look alike for the same reason - it is what I call the Professor Cory syndrome. I do not know if anyone remembers this comedian, but he would start talking a long-lettered, scientific jargon, emulating his old professors, until he had an audience in stitches but actually believing what he said, whatever it was. No one wanted to admit they really did not know but he made you think you did. And this is pretty much the format of much of science as far as evolution goes. They get drunk with their words and really do not know themselves what they are saying, but with 20 letter words, anything looks good! I intend to prove that the evolutionary theory is one of the biggest hoaxes since the Cardiff Giant, and a test-case in what happens when people are not studied enough in all the sciences.
Whether you believe in the Ancient Astronaut Theory or not is irrelevant; actually this book covers so many areas of mankind from a biological and historical viewpoint I think layman and professionals will find it of interest. I come from the old school of thought that one must be well-studied in all fields before judgments are made, and writing something to please the general public or make a sensationalized statement to gain attention is very poor research. This research will step on many toes, but as a researcher, I am not out to win a popularity contest. I have had to deal with biological truths that affect us today which have their roots in this dark past.
It is a sad fact in this country that most science books have to be subsidy published for there is no public interest in improving their way of life. Every subject I have dealt with really could have had more volumes devoted to it, so this is very condensed. The problem is that the average citizen does not have the time or initiative to study anything in the sciences or medical fields and puts their faiths in the first persons who condone their paths in life, even if it means catering to their weaknesses which evolution most certainly does. If they were more well read, they would not be so easily duped. Evolution among scientists is not fact; it is still very much theory, contrary to Carl Sagan, whom I admire in all areas of his research, save this, and his disagreement against the Ancient Astronaut proponents. Many in the science fields advocate it. Our best two examples are from NASA itself, Josef P. Blumrich and Maurice Chatelain. Blumrich was Chief of the Systems Layout Branch of NASA, a skeptic until he read the story of Ezekiel and therein found the exact description of a spaceship and wrote his book, SPACESHIPS OF EZEKIEL, using his technical acumen of aeronautics to discern what went on here. Another superb book is "OUR ANCESTORS CAME FROM OUTER SPACE" (Doubleday & Company, Inc., NY-1978) by Maurice Chatelain. The title is rather 'campy' which truly hides this most interesting study by one of NASA's officials who helped put man on the moon and conceived and designed the Apollo space craft. Now, if the Ancient Astronaut theory is all bunkum, why are NASA officials advocating it? There are too many peoples in these fields who believe as do not. As Chatelain wrote concerning the Apollo flight:
But the astronauts were not limited to equipment troubles. They saw things during their missions that could not be discussed with anybody outside NASA, It is very difficult to obtain my specific information from NASA, which still exercises a very strict control over any disclosure of these events. It seems that all Apollo and Gemini flights were followed, both at a distance and sometimes quite closely, by. space vehicles of extraterrestrial origin-flying saucers, or UFO's (unidentified flying objects), if you want to call them by that name. Every time it occurred, the astronauts informed Mission Control, who then ordered, absolute silence. I think that Walter Shirra aboard Mercury 8 was the first of the astronauts to use the code name "Santa Claus" to indicate the presence of flying saucers next to his space capsule. However, his announcements were barely noticed by the general public. It was a little different when James Lovell on board the Apollo 8 command module came out from behind the dark side of the moon and said for everybody to hear: "We have been informed that Santa Claus does exist!" Even though this happened on Christmas Day 1968, many people sensed a hidden meaning in those words that were not difficult to decipher.
He then went on to tell how the astronauts had photographed various UFO's and when the first moon landing of Apollo 11 was made on the Sea of Tranquility, two UFO's hovered over Astronauts Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin who took pictures of them which appeared in the June 1975 issue of MODERN PEOPLE magazine having gotten them from a Japanese source, so it was said.
There was even some talk that the Apollo 13 mission carried a nuclear device aboard that could be set off to make measurements of the infrastructure of the moon and
whose detonations would show on the charts of several recording seismographs placed in different locations. The unexplained explosion of an oxygen tank in the service module of Apollo 13 on its flight to the moon, according to rumors, was caused deliberately by a UFO that was following the capsule to prevent the detonation of the atomic charge that could possible have destroyed or endangered some moon base established by extraterrestrials. Well, there was a lot of talk and there still is.
Perhaps we will find out why the moon may have been off limits to us to detonate such a devise. We are going to find we are very much not alone.
It was also said that during their flights our astronauts frequently felt as if some external force were trying to take over their minds. They experienced strange sensations and visions. What seems almost certain is that some of the astronauts did have psychological problems and changes of personality after their missions in space. Some turned deeply religious, some seemed to develop mental trouble—-facts that of course could be ascribed to pure coincidences without particular significance.
The experiments in telepathy carried out in space by some astronauts have been discussed and even published. Special symbol cords of geometric figures were used to transmit thoughts from the participant in orbit around the moon to the correspondent on the surface of the earth. Most of these experiments were successful, much, more so than similar telepathic experiments conducted on earth, which generally had a lower score.
One of the astronauts who is yet doing research today is Apollo 14 Astronaut, Edgar D. Mitchell who heads the scientific INSTITUTE OF NOETIC SCIENCES to study further the issues of telepathy and other so-called paranormal research which, we are finding, is not so paranormal.
Then there is the case of astronaut Gordon Cooper that arouses curiosity for more than one reason. He was the pilot of Mercury 9 in 1963 and of Gemini 5 in 1965, and he was unquestionably one of our most skilled space pilots, yet he never flew an Apollo. Gordon Cooper, now manufacturing skydiving parachutes after having quit the space program, has never told anybody outside NASA what he saw in space. But there are those who think NASA may have removed him from the Apollo flights because he had seen too much. It is also curious that this man, who is not only an astronaut but is also a scientist, has now become a firm believer in extraterrestrial life and civilizations and is convinced that space visitors to earth have been around for a long time, from the most distant past up to this very day. Not long ago Gordon Cooper participated in an archaeological expedition to South America that discovered the remnants of a very old and very advanced civilization dating back more than five thousand years. Pottery, sculptures, and hieroglyphs very similar to Egyptian artifacts of the same period, were discovered, confirming once more the theory that Egyptian and American cultures had a common origin. It is quite natural for a famous astronaut to be interested in ancient astronauts but one may still wonder whether Cooper did not acquire his sudden interest in extraterrestrial civilizations by seeing for himself in space things that he did not have the right to tell us about.
Why is it the Saganites deny all this while those that have been there are all moved, body and soul? Chatelain's book, as so many by some of these authors who seem to be in the know, saw only short publication and are rather hard to locate now. As far as the Ancient Astronaut theory goes, there is great demand For literature here in America but only in Europe where the roots are deeper, do we find it as excepted by the scientists more and the public still demands the publications. Here, it is as if a veil has been put over the people, well executed by the Saganites, who make one feel almost ashamed to do research in it until one finds out just how unschooled and uneducated truly are. There is so much to be learned here and studied it would really take scores of years as there are just too many questions. We laugh at stark revelations in the so-called rag-journals, such as the NATIONAL ENQUIRER, which seems to be sensationalized, but that seems to be what is hiding the reason more people do not believe in them for I have found that many of these stories do have validity behind them but we have since birth been brought up with another side to man's history that masks all that we were meant to know. Other people's in the world are lucky as the Veda has been studied by them for years as well as literature from areas of the Orient. India is finally discovering her history is much richer than ever believed.
One Professor Duncan Lunan of the Glascow University lab has come right out and stated that someone has placed a space craft in orbit about the moon. This report was published in the British JOURNAL OF INTERPLANETARY SOCIETY, which said the craft was broadcasting signals; perhaps this was one of the things our astronauts saw. This is strange for in the mid-60's astronomers did discover a small body orbiting the moon as they bounced radio and radar signals from it and they went back to other unexplained radio messages in 1928, 1928 and 1934 that confirmed same. Three other European researchers transmitted radio signals and received two answering echoes, one took seven seconds to return which meant it was bounced off our ionospheric layer while the other took fifteen seconds, much too long for the law of physics to ascertain. What Professor Lunan found was that the code was a broadcast of a star map, the dots and dashes corresponding to the constellation Bootes. Six other star maps were found by other researchers and most believe as Chatelain that the moon has been visited many times and perhaps our Apollo astronauts found that out first hand. Why, for instance, did we stop going to the moon with all the research to be done there? Russian Astronomers have unabashedly come right out and stated Mars has man-made satellites orbiting as supposed moons. Why do many people feel the government is hiding the real story? Is there something deep in our psyche, a genetic memory, that tells us we were once amongst the Gods? Do we look up to the heavens because there was once someone there to look up to? Did someone use to come to our defense when we prayed? Are we like little kittens who, before they even are aware of birds, if you play a recording of songbirds they automatically look up? Why are such stories of the Hollow Earth debunked by the Saganites yet Admiral Byrd's nephew has just announced a confirmation of his uncle's findings and is trying to launch expeditions to find it himself? Why do the ancients constantly speak of it? There are so many areas to be explored on this earth and in the seas below that to deny flatly anything we cannot physically register or see is very naive.
The debates over the existence of the ancient astronauts are not new. The ancients
themselves were in hot debate over the issue as to the belief that the Gods once walked the earth and intervened in man's affairs and often they sound like archaic versions of harangues between Erich von Däniken and Carl Sagan. The first of the known debates began in 300 BCE and the theory of 'euhemerism' came into being for Euhemerus of Messene proposed that the reason people worshiped the Gods was that they once ruled the lands and this was done in gratitude. By far, however, are the best debates in Cicero's (106-43-BCE) treatise, THE NATURE OF THE GODS, the first published debate of the pros and cons of the existence of the Gods I have found to date. To the Greeks, the Gods were a way of life they tried to emulate. He opens the book by stating something the Saganites should take to heart.
"There is nothing worse than a hasty judgment, and nothing could be more unworthy of the dignity and integrity of a philosopher than uncritically to adopt a false opinion or to maintain as certain some theory which has not been fully explored and understood."
As to our own question most philosophers have affirmed the existence of the gods and indeed such an assertion is plausible and one to which we are all naturally inclined. Protagoras however professed himself in doubt on the matter, and Diagoras of Melos and Theodorus of Cyrene did not believe them to exist at all. But even among those who assert that gods exist there is such variety aid conflict of opinions that it would be tedious to list them all. There are many different theories about the shapes in which the gods appear, about their homes and habitations, about the manner of their life, and all of these theories are the subject of constant dispute among philosophers. But the crux and center of the argument is the question whether the gods do nothing, care for nothing and take their ease detached from all concern with the care and government of the world; or whether on the contrary all things have been created and formed by them from the dawn of time, and will be ruled and governed by them to all eternity. So at the outset of our inquiry we are faced with the fundamental differences of opinion. Unless these differences can be resolved, mankind will continue to live in the grossest error and ignorance of what they most desire to know.
For thousands of years man had been used to having the Gods around them as this study will prove and suddenly there was an abandonment of which these people were unprepared for. Their great-grandparents knew of them but now the stories were very much blurred and no one seemed to really know the true story.
There is no subject on which there is so much difference of opinion among the learned and the ignorant. But in this medley of conflicting opinions, one thing is certain. Though it is possible that they are all of them false, it is impossible that more than one of them is true.
This is how I feel, for what if 99% of what we find is only normal phenomenon like the debate of the face on the moon, supposedly rock hewn out by a higher intelligence and also the pyramid shapes found there. What of that one little 1%? We just cannot say, yes, the ancient Astronaut theory is false, because no one knows for sure. Cicero points out what Philo said, that all our knowledge is only the knowledge of
our own ignorance; this is what we have to rise above, ignorance. The entire book of Cicero's is a collection of essays by different philosophers on the subject of the Gods and their relationship to man. By this time in history the Gods more or less reflected the weaknesses of man in his life for they became someone on whom they could lay the blame, rather than on themselves which we yet do today in religion and in the sciences with the theory of genetic evolution. They too found that many of the stories just got to the point of being ridiculous as man translated his own baseness into the Gods from whom he sprung, as one philosopher said,
So for I have been dealing in a general way not so much with the opinions of philosophers as with the fantasies of lunatics which are nearly as absurd as the poisonous honey of the poets, who present us with gods afire with rage or mad with lust, and make us the spectators of their wars, their battles, their violence and wounds; of their hates, quarrels, altercations; and also of their births and deaths, their complaints and lamentations, their lusts erupting into excess of every kind, adultery, captivity, and intercourse with human beings, so that mortals may have gods for parents. To these fictions of the poets we may add the wonder of the magicians, and the similar extravagances of the Egyptians. Not to mention the superstitions of the masses, which are consisted only in their ignorance of the truth.
As we will see, a great deal of the above was true, but man went to excesses excusing his misdeeds of his own nature on the Gods. But Epicurus believed as myself, that a genetic memory had been forged into our brains from the most ancient of times and for this reason we find the Gods familiar and fascinating to us. The fact that people all over the world have the same legends and myths of these times displays a common source. Epicurus called this "Prolepsis," which he wrote of in his STANDARD OF JUDGMENT, of the inborn knowledge of the mind that today we call genetic memory. There are many debates as in the following rebuttal against one who denied the existence of the Gods which proves my point that we cannot deny something we have not seen as yet.
"Did you ever actually see a god? Then why do you believe that gods exist? So let us abolish everything which we only know by hearsay or by some new hypothesis of our reason. This is as though people who dwell inland should refuse to believe in the existence of the sea. Such is your narrowness of mind that if you had been born in Seriphus and had never left this island, where you saw daily only little hares and foxes, you would refuse to believe in the existence of lions and panthers, when they were described to you. And if anyone told you about an elephant, you would think he was pulling your leg!"
Has any of the Saganites seen a God? Apparently, the Astronauts did, or came closer than most. I never have so I cannot sit here and deny they exist. I do not believe the Gods came from another planet and mated with primitive man but I do believe these people came right from here. Debator Lucilius was quick to remind all of instances which occurred, and still did, which were most unusual and which they could not explain, and which we cannot yet today.
And so, both in our own country and in others, the worship of the gods and the
sanctity of religion grow firmer and fairer day by day. And this does not happen blindly or by chance but because the gods time and again declare their presence.
For example, of Lake Regillus in the Latin war, when Aulus Postumius way in command in the battle against Octavius Mamilius of Tusculum, Castor and Pollux were seen fighting on horseback in our ranks. And in more recent times they appeared to announce the defeat of Perses of Macedon. When Publius Vatinius, the grandfather of our young contemporary, was traveling by night to Rome from [rete, of which he was governor, two young men on white horses told him that Perses had been captured that very day, and when he arrived in Rome he announced it to the Senate. Whereupon he was promptly thrown into prison for contempt of the assembly. But afterwards, when dispatches from Paulus confirmed the king's capture on that very day, this same Vatinius was granted lands and special privileges by senatorial decree. Again, when the Locrians defeated the men of Croton in a great battle on the river Sagra, tradition records that news of this battle was heard the same day at the Olympic games. Often men have heard the voice of fauns in the forests and the gods have often appeared in many forms so as to compel anybody who is not a fool or a worldling to admit that they are present here among us.
They also argue how everyone had their own versions of the stories of Hercules, Apollo, Achilles, Orpheus, Hera and the family of the Gods and how they needed to find the basis of these stories for uninformed philosophers, poets and priests were making fools of the people as everyone had lost the validity of the nature of the Gods as real beings. "Philosophy is the child of ignorance" as the book so wisely opens up with. One thing they did argue quite adamantly over was what the Gods looked like in relation to themselves as they were the primal design. The story was told how Dionysius ordered the golden beard taken off Aesculapius at Epidaurus as the son of Apollo had no beard like his father which as we will see has some truth in it. Aristotle spoke of the "Divine Child" who had features unlike the Brachycephalic and Dolichocephalic features of most peoples. Everyone searched amongst the peoples for those closest in features to the Gods and we will attempt to explore the mysteries of the human body that lends credence to this. But they knew that to explore the world and its lifeforms took holistic reasoning:
So we see that the parts of the world (for there is nothing in the world which is not a part of the universe as a whole) have sense and reason. So these must be present to a higher and greater degree in that part which provides the organizing principle of the whole world. So the universe must be a rational being and the Nature which permeates and embraces all things must be endowed with reason in its highest form.
They called this great power of Nature just that, "the power" which if George Lucas were living back then he would have said "may the power be with you"! But if said to a God, as we will see, I think they would have turned around with their lotus eyes and said in all earnest, "I am the force" for they did not believe in Fate as '<ins">they were</ins>' "the power" that is, the culmination of the forces of nature converged to make the whole, one, power--man, or in this case as we know them, the Gods, but natural beings. They felt all were personally responsible for their own fortunes in life, and this is what these debates were about as well. They believed that the earth was
a living organism, Gaia, and all the universe as well, which we are finding today to be true, as is seems to teem with life, "but if the heat of the sun" so stated, "is similar, to the vital heat of the bodies of living creatures, than the sun itself must be alive. So also must the other stars, which are born in that heavenly fire which we call the aether or the sky." They argued that because of man's falling from a higher form we could not perceive our universe as we once did. "Arcesilas used to criticize Zeno because while he himself held that all that we perceive through our senses is false, Zeno held that some only of our sense-perceptions were false, but others true." This too will be a major part of this study to see just how much we have lost biologically. It was a major topic to find those who had changed least since the fall of man from the archetypal, primal type. And, in this biochemical confusion as we will see, everyone had their version of what the "Divine Child" would look like and which was an integral part of these debates.
"And which human shape are we speaking of? How many human beings are handsome? When I was in Athens, there were flocks of young men about, but scarcely one handsome specimen to be found among them. You may laugh: but I am speaking the truth. And to us who take pleasure in the young, following the example of the philosophers of old, even blemishes may have their charm. Alcaeus was charmed by a mole on the finger of a boy. A nose is a blemish to the body: but to him it was on ornament. Quintus Catulus, the father of our colleague and friend, was devoted to Roscius, a fellow townsman of yours. You may remember the verses that he wrote about him! — "I stood to greet the rising sun, when suddenly Roscius rose at my left hand: Pardon me, gods in heaven, if I say, this mortal seemed to me more handsome than the god." So you see, to Catulus this Roscius was more handsome than a god. In point of fact he squinted then as badly as he does today. But what of it? To Cotulus it was an added charm.
Let us return to the gods. Are we to imagine that some of them have a cast in the eye, even if they do not squint? And that some of them have a mole? And that some are pug-nosed, some flap-eared, and some beetle-browed or big headed, like many of ourselves? Or with them is everything made perfect? Let us suppose that it is. Then are they all exactly the same? If not then one must be more beautiful than another. In which case not every God can have beauty in supreme perfection. But if they are all alike, then the Academy must flourish in heaven, for if there is no difference between one god and another, then among the gods there can be no telling who's who or what's what? 'But may it not be, Velleius, that it is altogether untrue that when we think of the gods we can only think of them in human shape? Do you really need to defend all these absurdities? We Romans may imagine the gods as you say. From childhood we are familiar with Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Neptune, Vulcan, Apollo and the other gods in the aspect in which it has pleased the painters and sculptors to present them not only in form but in ornament, and age and dress. But the Egyptians and the Syrians and almost all foreign races do not see them in this way.
Everyone was very confused as to what the Gods once looked like. People of renown claimed to be a descendant of them and certain characteristics came to be marks of the Gods and we shall attempt to find what those hallmarks were.
I have been astonished as to how so much literature has been misinterpreted by historians who are not trained in the natural sciences in the fields of Palepathology, medicine, etc. Much has escaped their eyes. Unfortunately, when someone writes a history of years past and a statement or theory becomes dogma it is very hard to break it. Because of this we have missed an entire new page of man's history and because of it we are sinking in our very blindness. The ancients tell us this is what the Gods intended but there were others who did not intend this and as Confucius said, cognizance was the salvation of man. Let us close with the preface to the NATURE OF THE GODS.
If it is valuable to follow out a single line of argument, how much more valuable must it be to follow out all of them? This is what the Academy seeks to do, since its object is to discover the truth, stating the arguments both for and against all philosophic theories. This is a long and difficult task, and I do not flatter myself that I have fully accomplished it: but I can say that I have tried.
We who philosophize by this method are not just chasing shadows. I have dealt more fully and more generally with this point elsewhere, but as some persons persist in their unteachable stupidity, I have to keep on ramming it home. We of the Academy are not people who will accept nothing as true. But we do hold that every true perception has in it an admixture of falsehood so similar to the truth, that we have no certain criterion of judgment and assent. It follows that we can attain only to a number of probable truths, which although they cannot be proved as certainties, yet many appear so clear and convincing that a wise man may well adopt them as a rule of life.
To absolve myself of any prejudice, I shall first set out the views of the philosophers on the nature of the gods. On this question the whole world must sit in judgment and decide for themselves which of these views is true. I should be ready to admit the philosophy of the Academy to be a shameless fraud, if everyone were in agreement or if anyone could say for certain what was the truth. So I may well take my cue from the comedy of THE YOUNG COMPANIONS, and say "O ye gods, I beg you, all you young men and fellow citizens, I call on you, I beseech you, I pray and implore you'-- and not about some trifling matter, such as the complaint of the young man in the play that things have come to a pretty pass when 'a courtesan refuses the presents of a friend who loves her.'
No, I am asking everyone to come into court, weight up the evidence, and return their verdict as to what we are to say about religion, piety, sanctity, ritual, faith, the taking of oaths; about our temples, our shrines, our solemn sacrifices, even about the auspices over which I myself preside. All these things depend upon the question of the existence and nature of the immortal gods. Surely even those who believe that they have attained certainty in these matters must feel some doubts when they see how widely wise men have differed about so crucial a question.
So you see the "widely wise" of the Blumrich's and Chatelain's had to debate with the Saganites in those days too. This for me has also been a "long and difficult task," too, and its merits and failings are all mine but I have longed to know the truth of
our world and why man is in the state he is in and I feel confident that I have, but as Cicero said it is for each individual to find out for himself and herself. The ancients said that some people could not handle the truth and when we found out it would drive some mad. I can only say that by the research I have thus far grown in my visions of what life is. And, like Cicero, at least I can claim that I too have tried. The only way we will know for sure is when the Gods themselves come and tell us....
Lana Corrine Cantrell May-1987